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THE ' f fCt 












1 861 

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight 
hundred and sixty, by 


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of 
New York. 



A QUARTER of a centurj's experience in fron- 
tier life, a great portion of which has been occu- 
pied in exploring the interior of our continent, 
and in long marches where I have been thrown 
exclusively upon my own resources, far beyond 
the bounds of the populated districts, and where 
the traveler must vary his expedients to sur- 
mount the numerous obstacles which the nature 
of the country continually reproduces, has shown 
me under what great disadvantages the ''''voy- 
ageur^^ labors for want of a timely initiation into 
those minor details of prairie-craft, which, how- 
ever apparently unimportant in the abstract, are 
sure, upon the plains, to turn the balance of suc- 
cess for or against an enterprise. 

This information is so varied, and is derived 
from so many different sources, that I still find 
every new expedition adds substantially to my 
practical knowledge, and am satisfied that a good 


Prairie Manual will be for the young traveler 
an addition to his equipment of inappreciable 

With such a book in his hand, he will be able, 
in difficult circumstances, to avail himself of the 
matured experience of veteran travelers, and 
thereby avoid many otherwise unforeseen disas- 
ters ; while, during the ordinary routine of march- 
ing, he will greatly augment the sum of his com- 
forts, avoid many serious losses, and enjoy a com- 
parative exemption from doubts and anxieties. 
He will feel himself a master spirit in the wilder- 
ness he traverses, and not the victim of every 
new combination of circumstances which nature 
affords or fate allots, as if to try his skill and 

I have waited for several years, with the con- 
fident expectation that some one more competent 
than myself would assume the task, and give the 
public the desired information ; but it seems that 
no one has taken sufficient interest in the subject 
to disseminate the benefits of his experience in 
this way. Our frontier-men, although brave in 
council and action, and possessing an intelligence 
that quickens in the face of danger, are apt to 
feel shy of the pen. They shun the atmosphere 
of the student's closet; their sphere is in the 
free and open wilderness. It is not to be won- 


dered at, therefore, that to our veteran borderer 
the field of literature should remain a " terra in- 
cogniiar It is our army that unites the chasm 
between the culture of civilization in the aspect 
of science, art, and social refinement, and the pow- 
erful simplicity of nature. On leaving the Mili- 
tary Academy, a majority of our officers are at- 
tached to the line of the army, and forthwith as- 
signed to duty upon our remote and extended 
frontier, where the restless and warlike habits of 
the nomadic tribes render the soldier's life almost 
as unsettled as that of the savages themselves. 

A regiment is stationed to-day on the borders 
of tropical Mexico ; to-morrow, the war-whoop, 
borne on a gale from the northwest, compels its 
presence in the frozen latitudes of Puget's Sound. 
The very limited numerical strength of our army, 
scattered as it is over a vast area of territory, ne- 
cessitates constant changes of stations, long and 
toilsome marches, a promptitude of action, and a 
tireless energy and self-reliance, that can only be 
acquired through an intimate acquaintance with 
the sphere in which we act and move. 

The education of our officers at the Military 
Academy is doubtless well adapted to the art 
of civilized warfare, but can not familiarize them 
with the diversified details of border service ; and 
they often, at the outset of their military career, 


find themselves compelled to improvise new ex- 
pedients to meet novel emergences. 

The life of the wilderness is an art as well as 
that of the city or court, and every art subjects 
its votaries to discipline in preparing them for a 
successful career in its pursuit. The Military 
Art, as enlarged to meet all the requirements of 
border service, the savage in his wiles or the ele- 
ments in their caprices, embraces many other 
special arts which have hitherto been almost ig- 
nored, and results which experience and calcula- 
tion should have guaranteed have been improvi- 
dently staked upon favorable chances. 

The main object at which I have aimed in the 
following pages has been to explain and illus- 
trate, as clearly and succinctly as possible, the 
best methods of performing the duties devolving 
upon the prairie traveler, so as to meet their con- 
tingencies under all circumstances, and thereby to 
endeavor to establish a more uniform system of 
marching and campaigning in the Indian coun- 

I have also furnished itineraries of most of the 
principal routes that have been traveled across 
the plains, taken from the best and most reliable 
authorities; and I have given some information 
concerning the habits of the Indians and wild 
animals that frequent the prairies, with the secrets 


of the hunter's and warrior's strategy, which I 
have endeavored to impress more forcibly upon 
the reader by introducing illustrative anecdote. 

I take great pleasure in acknowledging my in- 
debtedness to several ofiicers of the Topographical 
Engineers and of other corps of the army for the 
valuable information I have obtained from their 
official reports regarding the different routes em- 
braced in the itineraries, and to these gentlemen 
I beg leave very respectfully to dedicate my 



The different Routes to California and Oregon. — Their re- 
spective Advantages. — Organization of Companies. — Elec- 
tions of Captains. — Wagons and Teams. — Relative Merits 
of Mules and Oxen. — Stores and Provisions. — How packed. 
— Desiccated and canned Vegetables. — Pemmican. — Anti- 
scorbutics. — Cold Flour. — Substitutes in case of Necessity. 
— Amount of Supplies. — Clothing. — Camp Equipage. — 
Arms Page 15 


Marching. — Treatment of Animals. — Water. — Different meth- 
ods of finding and purifying it. — Journadas. — Methods of 
crossing them. — Advance and Rear Guards. — Selection of 
Camp. — Sanitary Considerations. — Dr. Jackson's Report. — 
Picket Guards. — Stampedes. — How to prevent them. — Cor- 
raling Wagons 44: 


Repairing broken Wagons. — Fording Rivers. — Quicksand. — 
Wagon Boats. — Bull Boats. — Crossing Packs. — Swimming 
Animals. — Marching with loose Horses. — Herding Mules. 
— Best Methods of Marching. — Herding and guarding Ani- 
mals. — Descending Mountains. — Stomas. — Northers.... 71 


Packing. — Saddles. — Mexican Method. — Madrina, or Bell- 
mare. — Attachment of the Mule illustrated. — Best Method 


of Packing. — Hoppling Animals. — Selecting Horses and 
Mules. — Grama and bunch Grass. — European Saddles. — 
California Saddle. — Saddle Wounds. — Alkali. — Flies. — 
Colic. — Rattlesnake Bites. — Cures for the Bite Page 98 


Bivouacs. — Tente d' Abri. — Gutta-percha Knapsack Tent. — 
Comanche Lodge. — Sibley Tent.— Camp Furniture. — Lit- 
ters. — Rapid Traveling. — Fuel. — Making Fires. — Fires on 
the Praii'ies. — Jerking Meat. — Making Lariats. — Making 
Caches. — Disposition of Fire-arms. — Colt's Revolvers. — 
Gun Accidents. — Trailing. — Indian Sagacity 133 


Guides and Hunters. — Delawares and Shawnees. — Khebirs. — 
Black Beaver. — Anecdotes. — Domestic Troubles. — Lodges. 
— Similarity of Prairie Tribes to the Arabs. — Method of 
making War. — Tracking and pursuing Indians. — Method 
of attacking them. — Telegraphing by Smokes 183 

Hunting. — Its Benefits to the Soldier. — Buffalo. — Deer. — An- 
telope. — Bear. — Big-horn, or Mountain Sheep. — Their 
Habits, and Hints upon the best Methods of hunting 
them 230 

Itineraries 269 

Appendix 375 



Map of Overland Eontes at end of volume. 

Port Smith, Arkansas Frontispiece. 

Swimming a Horse 78 

Diagram for Measurements 81 

Crossing a Stream 87 

Grimsley's Pack-saddle 99 

California Saddle 119 

Half-faced Camp 134 

Conical Bivonac ^ 135 

Tent Knapsack 137 

Comanche Lodge 140 

Sibley Tent „ 143 

Camp Chairs 14o 

Camp Table— Field Cot 14G 

Field Cot— Camp Bureau 148 

Mess-chest 149 

Horse-litter 151 

Hand-litter 154 

The Grizzly 167 

Horse-tracks 178 

Keep aAvay ! 209 

Buffalo and other Tracks 231 

Rifle-sights and Pouch 249 

Calling up Antelopes 262 

The Needles 270 

Chimney Rock 285 

Devil's Gate 287 

Well in the Desert 308 

Map of the Pike's Peak Gold Region 312 

Sangre de Cristo Pass 316 

San Francisco Mountain 325 

Canon on Bill Williams's Fork 328 

Artillery Peak 329 

India-rubber Cloak 375 



The dift'erent Routes to California and Oregon.— Their re- 
spective Advantages. — Organization of Companies. — Elec- 
tions of Captains. — Wagons and Teams. — Relative Merits 
of Mules and Oxen. — Stores and Provisions. — How packed. 
— Desiccated and canned Vegetables. — Pemmican. — Anti- 
scorbutics. — Cold Flour. — Substitutes in case of Necessity. — 
Amount of Supplies. — Clothing. — Camp Equipage. — Arms. 


Emigrants or others desiring to make the over- 
land journey to the Pacific should bear in mind that 
there are several different routes which may be 
traveled with wagons, each having its advocates in 
persons directly or indirectly interested in attract- 
ing the tide of emigration and travel over them. 

Information concerning these routes coming from 
strangers living or owning property near them, from 
agents of steam-boats or railways, or from other 
persons connected with transportation companies, 
should be received with great caution, and never 
without corroborating evidence from disinterested 

There is no doubt that each one of these roads 


has its advantages and disadvantages, but a judi- 
cious selection must depend chiefly upon the fol« 
lowing considerations, namely, the locality from 
whence the individual is to take his departure, 
the season of the year when he desires to com- 
mence his journey, the character of his means of 
transjDortation, and the point upon the Pacific coast 
that he wishes to reach. 

Persons living in the Northeastern States can, 
with about equal ficility and dispatch, reach the 
eastern terminus of any one of the routes they may 
select by means of public transport. And, as ani- 
mals are much cheaper upon the frontier than in the 
Eastern States, they should purchase their teams at 
or near the point where the overland journey is to 

Those living in the Northwestern States, having 
their own teams, and wishing to go to any point 
north of San Francisco, will of course make choice 
of the route which takes its departure from the 
Missouri Iliver. 

Those who live in the middle Western States, 
having their own means of transportation, and going 
to any pohit upon the Pacific coast, should take one 
of the middle routes. 

Others, who reside in the extreme Southwest, and 
whose destination is south of San Francisco, should 
travel the southern road running through Texas, 
\vhi(;h is the only one practicable for comfortable 
whiter travel. The grass upon a great portion of 


this route is green during the entire winter, and 
snow seldom covers it. This road leaves the Gulf 
coast at Poicder-horn^ on Matagorda Bay, which 
point is difficult of access by land from the north, 
but may be reached by steamers from New Orleans 
five times a week. 

There are stores at Powder-horn and Indianola 
where the traveler can obtain most of the articles 
necessary for his journey, but I would recommend 
him to supply himself before leaving New Orleans 
with every thing he requires with the exception of 
animals, which he will find cheaper in Texas. 

This road has received a large amount of travel 
since 1849, is well tracked and defined, and, except- 
ing about twenty miles of '•'• hog loalloio prairie)'' 
near Powder-horn, it is an excellent road for car- 
riages and wagons. It passes through a settled 
country for 250 miles, and within this section sup- 
plies can be had at reasonable rates. 

At Victoria and San Antonio many fine stores 
will be found, well supphed with large stocks of 
goods, embracing all the articles the traveler will 

The next route to the north is that over which 
the semi- weekly mail to California passes, and which, 
for a great portion of the way to New Mexico, I 
traveled and recommended in 1849. This road 
leaves the Arkansas River at Fort Smith, to which 
point steamers run during the seasons of high water 
in the winter and spring. 


Supplies of all descriptions necessary for the over- 
land journey may be procured at Fort Smith, or at 
Van Buren on the opposite side of the Arkansas. 
Horses and cattle are cheap here. The road, on 
leaving Fort Smith, j)asses through the Choctaw and 
Chickasaw country for 180 nules, then crosses Red 
Kiver by ferry-boat at Preston, and runs through 
the border settlements of northern Texas for 150 
miles, within which distances supplies may be pro- 
cured at moderate prices. 

This road is accessible to persons desiring to 
make the entire journey wdth their own transporta- 
tion from Tennessee or Mississippi, by crossmg the 
Mississippi River at Memphis or Helena, passing 
Little Rock, and thence through Washington Coun- 
ty, intersecting the road at Preston. It may also 
be reached by taking steamers up Red River to 
Shreveport or Jefferson, from either of which places 
there are roads running through a populated coun- 
try, and intersecting the Fort Smith road near 

This road also unites with the San Antonio road 
at El Paso, and from that point they pass together 
over the mountains to Fort Yuma and to San Fran- 
cisco in California. 

Another road leaves Fort Smith and runs up the 
south side of the Canadian River to Santa Fe and 
Albuquerque in New Mexico. 

This route is set down upon most of the maps of 
the present day as having been discovered and ex- 


plored by various i)ersons, but my own name seems 
to have been carefully excluded from the list. 
"Whether this omission has been intentional or not, 
I leave for the authors to determine. I shall merely 
remark that I had the command and entire direc- 
tion of an expedition which in 1849 discovered, 
explored, located, and marked out this identical 
wagon road from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to Santa 
Fe, New Mexico, and that this road, for the greater 
portion of the distance, is the same that has been 
since recommended for a Pacific railway. 

This road, near Albuquerque, unites with Captain 
"Whipple's and Lieutenant Beall's roads to California. 

Another road, which takes its departure from 
Fort Smith and passes through the Cherokee coun- 
try, is called the " Cherokee Trail." It crosses 
Grand River at Fort Gibson, and runs a little north 
of west to the Verdigris River, thence up the valley 
of this stream on the north side for 80 miles, when 
it crosses the river, and, taking a northwest course, 
strikes the Arkansas River near old Fort Mann, on 
the Santa Fe trace ; thence it passes near the base 
of Pike's Peak, and follows down Cherry Creek from 
its source to its confluence with the South Platte, 
and from thence over the mountains into Utah, and 
on to California via Fort Bridger and Salt Lake 

For persons who desire to go from the Southern 
States to the gold diggings in the vicinity of Cherry 
Creek, this route is shorter by some 300 miles than 


that from Fort Smith via Fort Leavenworth. It is 
said to be an excellent road, and well supplied with 
the requisites for encamping. It has been traveled 
by large parties of California emigrants for several 
years, and is well tracked and defined. 

The grass upon all the roads leavmg Fort Smith 
is sufiiciently advanced to afford sustenance to ani- 
mals by the first of April, and from this time until 
winter sets in it is abundant. The next route on 
the north leaves the Missouri River at Westport, 
Leavenworth City, Atcheson, or from other towns 
above, between either of which points and St. Louis 
steamers ply during the entire summer season. 

The necessary outfit of supplies can always be 
procured at any of the starting-points on the Mis- 
souri Kiver at moderate rates. 

This is the great emigrant route from Missouri 
to California and Oregon, over which so many 
thousands have traveled within the past few years. 
The track is broad, well worn, and can not be mis- 
taken. It has received the major part of the Mor- 
mon emigration, and was traversed by the army m 
its march to Utah in 1857. 

At the point where this road crosses the South 
Platte River, Lieutenant Bryan's road branches off 
to the left, leading through Bridger's Pass, and 
thence to Fort Bridger. The Fort Kearney route 
to the ecold rcGfion near Pike's Peak also leaves the 
emigrant road at this place and runs n]i the South 


From Fort Bridger there are two roads that may 
be traveled with wagons in the direction of Califor- 
nia ; one passing Salt Lake City, and the other run- 
ning down Bear River to Soda Sj^rings, intersecting 
the Salt Lake City road at the City of Bocks. 
Near Soda Springs the Oregon road turns to the 
right, passmg Fort Hall, and thence down Snake 
River to Fort Wallah-Wallah. Unless travelers 
have business in Salt Lake Valley, I would advise 
them to take the Bear River route, as it is much 
shorter, and better in every resjoect. The road, on 
leaving the Missouri River, passes for 150 miles 
through a settled country where grain can be pur- 
chased cheap, and there are several stores in this 
section where most of the articles required by trav- 
elers can be obtained. 

Many j)ersons who have had much experience in 
prairie travelmg prefer leaving the Missouri River 
in March or April, and feeding grain to their ani- 
mals until the new grass appears. The roads be- 
come muddy and heavy after the S]3ring rains set 
in, and by starting out early the worst part of the 
road will be passed over before the ground becomes 
wet and soft. This plan, however, should never be 
attempted unless the animals are well supplied with 
grain, and kept in good condition. They will eat 
the old grass in the spring, but it does not, in this 
climate, as in Utah and New Mexico, afford them 
sufficient sustenance. 

The grass, after the 1st of May, is good and 


abundant upon this road as far as the South Pass, 
from whence there is a section of about 50 miles 
where it is scarce ; there is also a scarcity upon the 
desert beyond the sink of the Humboldt. As large 
niunbers of cattle pass over the road annually, they 
soon consume all the grass in these barren local- 
ities, and such as pass late in the season are likely 
to suffer greatly, and oftentimes perish from starva- 
tion. When I came over the road in August, 1858, 
I seldom found myself out of sight of dead cattle 
for 500 miles along the road, and this was an un- 
usually favorable year for grass, and before the 
main body of animals had passed for that season. 

Upon the head of the Sweetwater River, and 
west of the South Pass, alkaline springs are met 
with, which are exceedingly poisonous to cattle and 
horses. They can readily be detected by the yel- 
lowish-red color of the grass growing around them. 
Animals should never be allowed to graze near them 
or to drink the water. 


After a particular route has been selected to make 
the journey across the plains, and the requisite num- 
ber have arrived at the eastern terminus, their first 
business should be to organize themselves into a 
company and elect a commander. The company 
should be of sufficient magnitude to herd and guard 
animals, and for protection against Indians. 

From 50 to 70 men, properly armed and equip- 


ped, will be enough for these purposes, and any 
greater number only makes the movements of the 
party more cumbersome and tardy. 

In the selection of a captain, good judgment, in- 
tegrity of purpose, and practical experience are the 
essential requisites, and these are indispensable to 
the harmony and consolidation of the association. 
His duty should be to direct the order of march, 
the time of starting and halting, to select the camps, 
detail and give orders to guards, and, indeed, to 
control and superintend all the movements of the 

An obligation should then be drawn up and sign- 
ed by all the members of the association, wherein 
each one should bind himself to abide in all cases 
by the orders and decisions of the captain, and to 
aid him by every means in his power in the execu- 
tion of his duties ; and they should also obligate 
themselves to aid each other, so as to make the in- 
dividual interest of each member the common con- 
cern of the whole company. To insure this, a fund 
should be raised for the purchase of extra animals 
to supply the places of those which may give out 
or die on the road ; and if the wagon or team of a 
particular member should fail and have to be aban- 
doned, the company should obligate themselves to 
transport his luggage, and the captain should see 
that he has his share of transportation equal with 
any other member. Thus it will be made the in- 
terest of every member of the company to watch 


over and protect the proj^erty of others as well as 
his own. 

In case of failure on the part of any one to com- 
ply with the obligations imposed by the articles of 
agreement after they have been duly executed, the 
company should of course have the power to punish 
the delinquent member, and, if necessary, to exclude 
him from all the benefits of the association. 

On such a journey as this, there is much to in- 
terest and amuse one who is fond of picturesque 
scenery, and of wild life in its most primitive aspect, 
yet no one should attempt it without anticipating 
many rough knocks and much hard labor ; every 
man must expect to do his share of duty faithfully 
and without a murmur. 

On long and arduous expeditions men are apt to 
become irritable and ill-natured, and oftentunes fan- 
cy they have more labor imposed upon them than 
their comrades, and that the person who directs the 
march is partial toward his favorites, etc. That 
man who exercises the greatest forbearance under 
such circumstances, who is cheerful, slow to take 
up quarrels, and endeavors to reconcile difiiculties 
among his companions, is deserving of all praise, 
and will, without doubt, contribute largely to the 
success and comfort of an expedition. 

The advantages of an association such as I have 
mentioned are manifestly numerous. The animals 
can be herded together and guarded by the differ- 
ent members of the company m rotation, thereby 


securing to all the oj^portunities of sleep and rest. 
Besides, this is the only way to resist depredations 
of the Indians, and to prevent their stampeding 
and driving off animals ; and much more efficiency 
is secm-ed in every respect, especially in crossing 
streams, repairing roads, etc., etc. 

Unless a systematic organization be adopted, it 
is impossible for a party of any magnitude to travel 
in company for any great length of time, and for all 
the members to agree upon the same arrangements 
in marching, camping, etc. I have several times ob- 
served, where this has been attempted, that discords 
and dissensions sooner or later arose which invari- 
ably residted in breaking up and separating the 

When a captain has once been chosen, he should 
be sustained in all his decisions unless he commit 
some manifest outrage, when a majority of the com- 
pany can always remove him, and j^ut a more com- 
petent man in his place. Sometimes men may be 
selected who, upon trial, do not come up to the an- 
ticipations of those who have placed them in power, 
and other men will exhibit, during the course of 
the march, more capacity. Under these circum- 
stances it wiU not be unwise to make a change, the 
first election having been distinctly provisional. 


A company having been organized, its first inter- 
est is to procure a proper outfit of transportation 
and supplies for the contemplated journey. 


Wagons should be of the simplest possible con- 
struction — strong, light, and made of well-seasoned 
timber, especially the wheels, as the atmosphere, in 
the elevated and arid region over which they have 
to pass, is so exceedingly dry during the summer 
months that, unless the wood-work is thoroughly 
seasoned, they will require constant repairs to pre- 
vent them from falhng to pieces. 

Wheels made of the bois-d'arc, or Osage orange- 
wood, are the best for the plains, as they shrink but 
little, and seldom want repairing. As, however, 
this wood is not easily procured in the I^orthern 
States, white oak answers a very good purpose if 
well seasoned. 

Spring wagons made in Concord, N'ew Hamp- 
shire, are used to transport passengers, and the 
mails upon some of the routes across the plams, and 
they are said, by those who have used them, to be 
much superior to any others. They are made of 
the close-grained oak that grows in a high northern 
latitude, and well seasoned. 

The pole of the wagon should have a jomt where 
it enters the hounds, to prevent the weight from 
coming upon it and breakmg the hounds in pass- 
ing short and abrupt holes in the road. 

The perch or coupling-pole should be shifting or 
movable, as, in the event of the loss of a wheel, an 
axle, or other accident rendering it necessary to 
abandon the wagon, a temporary cart may be con- 
structed out of the remaining portion. The tu'es 


should be examined just before commencing the 
journey, and, if not perfectly snug, reset. 

One of the chief causes of accidents to carriages 
upon the plains arises from the nuts coming off from 
the numerous bolts that secure the running gear- 
ing. To prevent this, the ends of all the bolts 
should be riveted ; it is seldom necessary to take 
them off, and when this is required the ends of the 
bolts may easily be filed away. 

Wagons with six mules should never, on a long 
journey over the prairies, be loaded with over 2000 
l^ounds, unless grain is transported, when an ad- 
ditional thousand pounds may be taken, provided it 
is fed out daily to the team. When grass consti- 
tutes the only forage, 2000 jDOunds is deemed a suf- 
ficient load. I regard our government wagons as 
unnecessarily heavy for six mules. There is sufii- 
cient material in them to sustain a burden of 4000 
pounds, but they are seldom loaded with more than 
half that weight. Every wagon should be furnish- 
ed with substantial bows and double osnaburg cov- 
ers, to protect its contents from the sun and weather. 

There has been much discussion regarding the 
relative merits of mules and oxen for prairie travel- 
ing, and the question is yet far from being settled. 
Upon good firm roads, in a populated country, 
where grain can be procured, I should unquestion- 
ably give the preference to mules, as they travel 
faster, and endure the heat of summer much better 
than oxen; and if the journey be not over 1000 


miles, and the grass abundant, even without grain, 
I think mules would be preferable. But when the 
march is to extend 1500 or 2000 miles, or over a 
rough sandy or muddy road, I believe young oxen 
will endure better than mules ; they wiU, if properly 
managed, keep in better condition, and perform the 
journey in an equally brief sjoace of time. Besides, 
they are much more economical, a team of six 
mules costing six hundred dollars, while an eight-ox 
team only costs upon the frontier about two hund- 
red dollars. Oxen are much less liable to be 
stampeded and driven off by Indians, and can be 
pursued and overtaken by horsemen ; and, finally, 
they can, if necessary, be used for beef. 

In Africa oxen are used as saddle animals, and it 
is said that they perform good service in this way. 
This will probably be regarded by our people as a 
very undignified and singular method of locomotion, 
but, in the absence of any other means of transj^ort- 
ation upon a long journey, a saddle-ox might be 
found serviceable. 

Andersson, in his work on Southwestern Africa, 
says : " A short strong stick, of peculiar shape, is 
forced through the cartilage of the nose of the ox, 
and to either end of this stick is attached (in bridle 
fashion) a tough leathern thong. From the extreme 
tenderness of the nose he is now more easily man- 
aged." " Hans presented me with an ox called 
' Spring,' which I afterward rode upward of two 
thousand miles. On the day of our departm*e he 


mounted us all on oxen, and a curious sight it was 
to see some of the men take their seats who had 
never before ridden on ox-back. It is impossible to 
guide an ox as one would guide a horse, for in the 
attempt to do so you would instantly jerk the stick 
out of his nose, which at once deprives you of every 
control over the beast ; but by pulling hoth sides of 
the bridle at the same time, and toward the side 
you wish him to take, he is easily managed.* Your 
seat is not less awkward and difficult ; for the skui 
of the ox, unlike that of the horse, is loose, and, not- 
withstanding your saddle may be tightly girthed, 
you keep rocking to and fro like a child in a cradle. 
A few days, however, enables a person to acquire a 
certain steadiness, and long habit will do the rest." 

" Ox traveling, when once a man becomes accus- 
tomed to it, is not so disagreeable as might be ex- 
pected, particularly if one succeeds in obtaining a 
tractable animal. On emergencies, an ox can be 
made to proceed at a tolerable quick pace; for, 
though his walk is only about three miles an hour 
at an average, he may be made to perform double 
that distance in the same time. Mr. Galton once 
accomplished 24 miles in four hours, and that, too, 
through heavy sand !" 

Cows will be fomid very useful upon long jour- 
neys when the rate of travel is slow, as they furnish 
milk, and in emergencies they may be worked in 

* A ring instead of the stick put through the cartilage of the 
nose would obviate this difficulty. — Author. 


wagons. I once saw a small cow yoked beside a 
large ox, and driven about six hundred miles attach- 
ed to a loaded wagon, and she performed her part 
equally well with the ox. It has been by no means 
an unusual thing for emigrant travelers to work 
cows in their teams. 

The inhabitants of Pembina, on Red River, work 
a single ox harnessed in shafts like a horse, and they 
transport a thousand pounds in a rude cart made 
entirely of wood, without a particle of iron. One 
man drives and takes the entire charge of eight or 
ten of these teams upon long journeys. This is cer- 
tainly a very economical method of transportation. 


Supplies for a march should be put up in the most 
secure, compact, and portable shape. 

Bacon should be packed in strong sacks of a hund- 
red pounds to each ; or, in very hot climates, put in 
boxes and surrounded with bran, which in a great 
measure prevents the fat from melting away. 

If pork be used, in order to avoid transporting 
about forty per cent, of useless weight, it should be 
taken out of the barrels and packed like the bacon ; 
then so placed in the bottom of the wagons as to 
keep it cool. The pork, if well cured, will keep sev- 
eral months in this way, but bacon is preferable. 

Flour should be packed in stout double canvas 
sacks well sewed, a hundred pounds in each sack. 

Butter may be preserved by boiling it thoroughly, 


and skimming off the scum as it rises to the top un- 
til it is quite clear like oil. It is then placed in tin 
canisters and soldered up. This mode of preserv- 
ing butter has been adopted in the hot climate of 
southern Texas, and it is found to keep sweet for a 
great length of time, and its flavor is but little im- 
paired by the process. 

Sugar may be well secured in India-rubber or 
gutta-percha sacks, or so placed in the wagon as 
not to risk getting wet. 

Desiccated or dried vegetables are almost equal 
to the fresh, and are put up in such a compact and 
portable form as easily to be transported over the 
plains. They have been extensively used in the 
Crimean war, and by our own army in Utah, and 
have been very generally approved. They are pre- 
pared by cutting the fresh vegetables into thin slices 
and subjecting them to a very powerful press, which 
removes the juice and leaves a soHd cake, which, 
after having been thoroughly dried in an oven, 
becomes almost as hard as a rock. A small piece 
of this, about half the size of a man's hand, when 
boiled, swells up so as to fill a vegetable dish, and 
is sufficient for four men. It is believed that the 
antiscorbutic properties of vegetables are not im- 
paired by desiccation, and they will keep for years 
if not exposed to dampness. Canned vegetables 
are very good for campaigning, but are not so port- 
able as when put up in the other form. The desic- 
cated vegetables used in our army have been pre- 
pared by Chollet and Co., 46 Rue Richer, Paris. 


There is an agency for them in Xew York. I re- 
gard these compressed vegetables as the best prep- 
aration for prairie travehng that has yet been dis- 
covered. A single ration weighs, before being 
boiled, only an omice, and a cubic yard contains 
16,000 rations. In making up their outfit for the 
plains, men are very prone to overload their teams 
with a great variety of useless articles. It is a good 
rule to carry nothing more than is absolutely neces- 
sary for use upon the journey. One can not exjoect, 
with the limited allowance of transportation that 
emigrants usually have, to indulge in luxuries upon 
such expeditions, and articles for use in California 
can be purchased there at less cost than that of 
overland transport. 

The allowance of provisions for men in marching 
should be much greater than when they take no 
exercise. The army ration I have always found in- 
sufficient for soldiers who perform hard service, yet 
it is ample for them when in quarters. 

The following table shows the amount of subsist- 
ence consumed per day by each man of Dr. Rae's 
party, in his spring journey to the Arctic regions 
of North America in 1854 : 

Pemmican 1.25 lbs. 

Biscuit 0.25 " 

Edward's presen-ed potatoes 0.10 " 

Flour 0.33 " 

Tea 0.03 " 

Sugar 0.14 " 

G rcasc or alcohol, for cookiug 0. 25 " 

^.35 ibo. 


This allowance of a little over two pounds of the 
most nutritious food was found barely sufficient to 
subsist the men in that cold chmate. 

The peinniican, which constitutes almost the en- 
tire diet of the Fur Company's men ia the N'orth- 
west, is prepared as follows : The buffalo meat is 
cut into thin flakes, and hung up to dry in the sun 
or before a slow fire ; it is then pounded between 
two stones and reduced to a powder ; this powder 
is placed in a bag of the animaPs hide, with the hair 
on the outside ; melted grease is then pom'ed into it, 
and the bag sewn up. It can be eaten raw, and 
many prefer it so. Mixed with a httle flour and 
boiled, it is a very wholesome and exceedmgiy nu- 
tritious food, and will keep fresh for a long time. 

I would ad\ise all persons who travel for any 
considerable time through a country where they 
can procure no vegetables to carry with them some 
antiscorbutics, and if they can not transport desic- 
cated or canned vegetables, citric acid answers a 
good purpose, and is very portable. When mixed 
with sugar and water, with a few drops of the es- 
sence of lemon, it is difficult to distinguish it from 
lemonade. Wild onions are excellent as antiscor- 
butics ; also wild grapes and greens. An infusion 
of hemlock leaves is also said to be an antidote to 

The most portable and simple preparation of sub- 
sistence that I know of, and which is used exten- 
sively by the Mexicans and Indians ^ is called '' cold 


flour.'''' It is made by parching corn, and pounding 
it in a mortar to the consistency of coarse meal ; a 
little sugar and cinnamon added makes it quite 
palatable. When the traveler becomes hungry or 
thirsty, a little of the flour is mixed with water and 
drunk. It is an excellent article for a traveler who 
desires to go the greatest length of time upon the 
smallest amount of trans23ortation. It is said that 
half a bushel is sufficient to subsist a man thirty 

Persons undergoing severe labor, and driven to 
great extremities for food, will derive sustenance 
from various sources that would never occur to 
them under ordinary circumstances. In passing 
over the Rocky Mountains during the winter of 
1857-8, our supplies of provisions were entirely 
consumed eighteen days before reachmg the first 
settlements in New Mexico, and Ave were obliged 
to resort to a variety of exj^edients to supply the 
deficiency. Our poor mules were fast failing and 
dropping down from exhaustion in the deep snows, 
and our only dependence for the means of sustain- 
mg life was upon these starved animals as they be- 
came unserviceable and could go no farther. We 
had no salt, sugar, cofiee, or tobacco, Avhich, at a 
time when men are performing the severest labor 
that the human system is capable of enduring, was 
a great privation. In this destitute condition we 
found a substitute for tobacco in the bark of the 
rod willow, which grows upon many of the mount- 


ain streams in that vicinity. The outer bark is 
first removed with a knife, after which the inner 
bark is scraped up into ridges around the sticks, 
and held in the fire until it is thoroughly roasted, 
when it is taken ofi" the stick, pulverized in the 
hand, and is ready for smoking. It has the nar- 
cotic properties of the tobacco, and is quite agreea- 
ble to the taste and smell. The sumach leaf is also 
used by the Indians in the same way, and has a 
similar taste to the w^illow bark. A decoction of 
the dried wild or horse mint, which we found 
abundant under the snow, was quite palatable, and 
answered instead of coffee. It dries up in that 
climate, but does not lose its flavor. We suffered 
^greatly for the want of salt; but, by burning the 
outside of our mule steaks, and sprinkling a little 
gunpowder upon them, it did not require a very 
extensive stretch of the imagination to fancy the 
presence of both salt and pepper. We tried the 
meat of horse, colt, and mules, all of which were m 
a starved condition, and of course not very tender, 
juicy, or nutritious. We consumed the enormous 
amount of from five to six pounds of this meat per 
man daily, but continued to grow weak and thin, 
until, at the expiration of twelve days, we were able 
to perform but little labor, and were continually 
craving for fat meat. 

The allowance of provisions for each grown per- 
son, to make the journey from the Missouri River 
to California, should sufiice for 110 days. The fol- 


lowing is deemed requisite, viz.: 150 lbs. of flour, 
or its equivalent in hard bread ; 25 lbs. of bacon or 
pork, and enough fresh beef to be driven on the 
hoof to make up the meat component of the ration; 
15 lbs. of coffee, and 25 lbs. of sugar; also a quan- 
tity of saleratus or yeast j^owders for making bread, 
and salt and pepper. 

These are the chief articles of subsistence neces- 
sary for the trij), and they should be used with econ- 
omy, reserving a good portion for the western half 
of the journey. Heretofore many of the Cahfor- 
nia emigrants have improvidently exhausted their 
stocks of provisions before reaching their journey's 
end, and have, in many cases, been obliged to pay 
the most exorbitant prices in making uj) the de- 

It is true that if persons choose to j^ass through 
Salt Lake City, and the Mormons happen to be in 
an amiable mood, supplies may sometimes be pro- 
cured from them ; but those who have visited them 
well know how little reliance is to be placed upon 
their hospitality or spirit of accommodation. 

I once traveled with a party of New Yorkers en 
route for California. They were perfectly ignorant 
of every thing relating to this kind of campaigning, 
and had overloaded their wagons with almost every 
thmg except the very articles most important and 
necessary ; the consequence w^as, that they exhaust- 
ed their teams, and w^ere obliged to throw away the 
greater part of their loading. Tliev soon learned 


that Champagne, East India sweetmeats, olives, 
etc., etc., were not the most useful articles for a 
prairie tour. 


A suitable dress for prairie traveling is of great 
import to health and comfort. Cotton or linen fab- 
rics do not sufficiently protect the body against the 
direct rays of the sun at midday, nor against rains 
or sudden changes of temperature. Wool, being a 
non-conductor, is the best material for this mode of 
locomotion, and should always be adopted for the 
plains. The coat should be short and stout, the 
shirt of red or blue flannel, such as can be found in 
almost all the shops on the frontier : this, in warm 
Aveather, answers for an outside garment. The pants 
should be of thick and soft woolen material, and it 
is well to have them re-enforced on the inside, where 
they come m contact with the saddle, with soft 
buckskin, which makes them more durable and com- 

Woolen socks and stout boots, coming up well at 
the knees, and made large, so as to admit the pants, 
will be found the best for horsemen, and they guard 
against rattlesnake bites. 

In traveling through deep snow during very cold 
weather in winter, moccasins are preferable to boots 
or shoes, as being more pliable, and allowing a freer 
circulation of the blood. In crossing the Rocky 
Mountains in the winter, the weather being intense- 


ly cold, I wore two pairs of woolen socks, and a 
square piece of thick blanket sufficient to coyer the 
feet and ankles, over which were drawn a pair of 
thick buckskm moccasms, and the whole enveloped 
in a pair of buffalo-skin boots with the hair inside, 
made open in the front and tied with buckskin 
strings. At the same time I wore a pair of elkskin 
pants, which most effectually prevented the air from 
penetrating to the skin, and made an excellent de- 
fense against brush and thorns. 

My men, who were dressed in the regulation cloth- 
ing, wore out their pants and shoes before we reach- 
ed the summit of the mountains, and many of them 
had their feet badly frozen in consequence. They 
mended their shoes with pieces of leather cut from 
the saddle-skirts as long as they lasted, and, when 
this material was gone, they covered the entire shoe 
with green beeve or mule hide, drawn together and 
sewed upon the top, with the hair inside, which pro- 
tected the upper as well as the sole leather. The 
sewing was done with an awl and buckskin strings. 
These simple expedients contributed greatly to the 
comfort of the party ; and, indeed, I am by no means 
sure that they did not, in our straitened condition, 
without the transportation necessary for carrying 
disabled men, save the lives of some of them. With- 
out the awl and buckskins we should have been un- 
able to have repaired the shoes. They should never 
be forgotten in making up the outfit for a prairie 



We also experienced great inconvenience and 
pain by the reflection of the sun's rays from the 
snow upon our eyes, and some of the party became 
nearly snow-blind. Green or blue glasses, inclosed 
in a wire net-work, are an effectual protection to the 
eyes ; but, in the absence of these, the skin around 
the eyes and upon the nose should be blackened 
with wet powder or charcoal, which will afford 
great relief 

In the summer season shoes are much better for 
footmen than boots, as they are lighter, and do not 
cramp the ankles ; the soles should be broad, so as 
to allow a square, firm tread, without distorting or 
pinching the feet. 

The following list of articles is deemed a suffi- 
cient outfit for one man upon a three months' expe- 
dition, viz. : 

2 blue or red flannel overshirts, 
open in front, with buttons. 
2 woolen undershirts. 
2 pairs thick cotton drawers. 
4 pairs woolen socks. 
2 pairs cotton socks. 
4 colored silk handkerchiefs. 

2 pairs stout shoes, for footmen. 
1 pair boots, for horsemen. 

1 pair shoes, for horsemen. 

3 towels. 

1 gutta percha poncho. 
1 broad-brimmed hat of soft 

1 comb and brush. 

2 tooth-brushes. 

1 pound Castile soap. 

3 pounds bar soap for washing 

1 belt-knife and small whet- 

Stout linen thread, large nee- 
dles, a bit of beeswax, a few 
buttons, paper of pins^ and a 
thimble, all contained in a 
small buckskin or stout cloth 

The foregoing articles, with the coat and over- 
coat, complete the wardrobe. 



The bedding for each person should consist of 
two blankets, a comforter, and a pillow, and a gutta 
percha or painted canvas cloth to spread beneath 
the bed npon the ground, and to contain it when 
rolled up for transportation. 

Every mess of six or eight persons will require a 
wrought-iron camp kettle, large enough for boiling 
meat and making soup ; a coffee-j)Ot and cups of 
heavy tin, with the handles riveted on ; tin plates, 
frying and bake pans of wrought iron, the latter 
for baking bread and roasting coffee. Also a mess 
pan of heavy tin or wrought iron for mixing bread 
and other cuHnary purposes; knives, forks, and 
spoons ; an extra camp kettle ; tin or gutta percha 
bucket for water — wood, being liable to shrink and 
fall to pieces, is not deemed suitable ; an axe, hatch- 
et, and spade will also be needed, with a mallet for 
driving picket-pins. Matches should be carried in 
bottles and corked tight, so as to exclude the 

A little blue mass, quinine, opium, and some ca- 
thartic medicine, put uj) in doses for adults, will 
suffice for the medicine-chest. 

Each ox wagon should be provided with a cover- 
ed tar-bucket, filled with a mixture of tar or resin 
and grease, two bows extra, six S's, and six open 
links for repairing chains. Every set of six wagons 
should have a tongue, coupling pole, king-bolt, and 
pair of hounds extra. 

ARMS. 41 

Every set of six mule wagons should be furnisliecl 
with five pairs of hames, two double trees, four 
whipple-trees, and two pairs of lead bars extra. 

Two lariats will be needed for every horse and 
mule, as one generally wears out before reaching 
the end of a long journey. They will be found use- 
ful in crossing deep streams, and in letting wagons 
down steep hills and mountains ; also in repairing 
broken wagons. Lariats made of hemp are the 

One of the most indispensable articles to the out- 
fit of the prairie traveler is buckskin. For repair- 
ing harness, saddles, bridles, and numerous other 
purposes of daily necessity, the awl and buckskin 
will be found in constant requisition. 


Every man who goes into the Indian country 
should be armed with a rifle and revolver, and he 
should never, either in camp or out of it, lose sight 
of them. When not on the march, they should be 
placed in such a position that they can be seized at 
an instant's warning ; and when moving about out- 
side the camp, the revolver should invariably be 
worn in the belt, as the person does not know at 
what moment he may have use for it. 

A great diversity of opinion obtains regarding 
the kind of rifle that is the most efiicient and best 
adapted to Indian warfare, and the question is per- 
haps as yet very far from bemg settled to the satis- 


faction of all. A large majority of men prefer the 
breech-loading arm, but there are those who still 
adhere tenaciously to the old-fashioned muzzle-load- 
ing rifle as preferable to any of the modern inven- 
tions. Among these may be mentioned the border 
hunters and mountaineers, who can not be persuad- 
ed to use any other than the Hawkins rifle, for the 
reason that they know nothing about the merits of 
any others. My own experience has forced me to 
the conclusion that the breech-loading arm possess- 
es great advantages over the muzzle-loading, for 
the reason that it can be charged and fired with 
much greater rapidity. 

Colt's revolving pistol is very generally admitted, 
both in Europe and America, to be the most effi- 
cient arm of its kind known at the present day. As 
the same principles are mvolved in the fabrication 
of his breech-loading rifle as are found m the pistol, 
the conviction to me is irresistible that, if one arm 
is worthy of consideration, the other is equally so. 
For my own part, I look upon Colt's new patent 
rifle as a most excellent arm for border service. It 
gives six shots in more rapid succession than any 
other rifle I know of, and these, if properly expend- 
ed, are oftentimes sufficient to decide a contest ; 
moreover, it is the most rehable and certam weapon 
to fire that I have ever used, and I can not resist 
the force of my conviction that, if I were alone upon 
the prairies, and expected an attack from a body of 

AEMS. 43 

Indians, I am not acquainted with any arm I would 
as soon have in my hands as this. 

The army and navy revolvers have both been used 
in our army, but the officers are not united in opin- 
ion in regard to their relative merits. I prefer the 
large army size, for reasons which will be given here- 



Marching. — Treatment of Animals. — Water. — Different meth- 
ods of finding and purifying it. — Journadas. — Methods of 
crossing them. — Advance and Rear Guards. — Selection of 
Camp. — Sanitary Considerations. — Dr. Jackson's Report. — 
Picket Guards. — Stampedes. — How to prevent them.^-Cor- 
raling Wagons. 


The success of a long expedition through an un- 
populated country depends mainly on the care tak- 
en of the animals, and the manner in which they are 
driven, herded, and guarded. If they are broken 
down or lost, every thing must be sacrificed, and the 
party becomes perfectly helpless. 

The great error into which inexperienced travel- 
ers are liable to fall, and which probably occasions 
more suffering and disaster than almost any thing 
else, lies in overworking their cattle at the com- 
mencement of the journey. To obviate this, short 
and easy drives should be made until the teams be- 
come habituated to their work, and gradually in- 
ured to this particular method of traveling. If ani- 
mals are overloaded and overworked when they first 
start out into the prairies, especially if they have 
recently been taken from grain, they soon fall away, 
and give out before reaching the end of the journey. 


Grass and water are abundant and good upon the 
eastern portions of all the different overland routes ; 
animals should not, therefore, with proj^er care, fall 
away in the least before reaching the mountains, as 
west of them are long stretches where grass and 
water are scarce, and it requires the full amount of 
strength and vigor of animals in good condition to 
endure the fatigues and hard labor attendant upon 
the passage of these deserts. Drivers should be 
closely watched, and never, unless absolutely neces- 
sary, permitted to beat their animals, or to force 
them out of a walk, as this will soon break down 
the best teams. Those teamsters who make the 
least use of the whip invariably keep their annuals 
in the best condition. Unless the drivers are check- 
ed at the outset, they are very apt to fall into the 
habit of flogging their teams. It is not only wholly 
unnecessary but cruel, and should never be tolerated. 

In traveling with ox teams in the summer season, 
great benefit will be derived from making early 
marches ; starting w^ith the dawn, and making a 
" nooning" during the heat of the day, as oxen suf- 
fer much from the heat of the sun in midsummer. 
These noon halts should, if possible, be so arranged 
as to be near grass and water, where the animals 
can improve their time in grazing. When it gets 
cool they may be hitched to the wagons again, 
and the journey continued in the afternoon. Six- 
teen or eighteen miles a day may thus be made with- 
out injury to the beasts, and longer drives can never 


be expedient, unless in order to reacli grass or wa- 
ter. When the requisites for encamping can not be 
found at the desired intervals, it is better for the 
animals to make a very long drive than to encamp 
without water or grass. The noon halt in such 
cases may be made without Avater, and the evening 
drive lengthened. 


The scarcity of water upon some of the routes 
across the plains occasionally exposes the traveler 
to intense suffering, and renders it a matter of much 
importance for him to learn the best methods of 
guarding against the disasters liable to occur to 
men and animals in the absence of this most neces- 
sary element. 

In mountainous districts water can generally be 
found either in springs, the dry beds of streams, or 
in holes in the rocks, where they are sheltered from 
rapid evaporation. For example, in the Hueco 
tanks, thirty miles east of El Paso, New Mexico, 
upon the Fort Smith road, where there is an im- 
mense reservoir in a cave, water can always be 
found. This reservoir receives the drainage of a 

During a season of the year when there are oc- 
casional showers, water will generally be found in 
low places where there is a substratum of clay, 
but after the dry season has set in these pools evap- 
orate, and it is necessary to dig wells. The lowest 


spots should be selected for this purpose when the 
grass is green and the surface earth moist. 

In searching for water along the dry sandy beds 
of streams, it is well to try the earth with a stick 
or ramrod, and if this indicates moisture water 
will generally be obtained by excavation. Streams 
often sink in hght and porous sand, and sometimes 
make their appearance again lower down, where 
the bed is more tenacious; but it is a rule with 
prairie travelers, in searching for water in a sandy 
country, to ascend the streams, and the nearer their 
sources are approached the more water will be 
found in a dry season. 

Where it becomes necessary to sink a well in a 
stream the bed of which is quicksand, a flour-bar- 
rel, perforated with small holes, should be used as 
a curb, to prevent the sand from caving in. The 
barrel must be forced down as the sand is removed ; 
and when, as is often the case, there is an under- 
current through the sand, the well will be contin- 
ually filled with water. 

There are many indications of water known to 
old campaigners, although none of them are abso- 
lutely hifallible. The most certain of them are deep 
green cottonwood or willow trees growing in de- 
pressed localities ; also flags, water - rushes, tall 
green grass, etc. 

The fresh tracks and trails of animals converging 
toward a common centre, and the flight of birds 
and water-fowl toward the same points, will also 


lead to water. In a section frequented by deer or 
mustangs, it may be certain that water is not far 
distant, as these animals drink daily, and they wiU 
not remain long in a locality after the water has 
dried up. Deer generally go to water during the 
middle of the day, but birds toward evening. 

A supply of drinking water may be obtained 
during a shower from the drippings of a tent, or by 
suspending a cloth or blanket by the four corners 
and hanging a small weight to the centre, so as to 
allow all the rain to run toward one point, from 
whence it drops into a vessel beneath. India-rub- 
ber, gutta-percha, or painted canvas cloths answer 
a very good purpose for catching water durmg a 
rain, but they should be previously well washed, to 
prevent them from imparting a bad taste. 

When there are heavy dews water may be col- 
lected by spreading out a blanket with a stick at- 
tached to one end, tying a rope to it, dragging it 
over the grass, and wringing out the water as it 
accumulates. In some parts of Australia this meth- 
od is practiced. 

In traversing the country upon the head waters 
of Red River during the summer of 1852, we suf- 
fered most severely from thirst, having nothmg but 
the acrid and bitter waters from the river, which, 
issuing from a gypsum formation, was highly 
charged with salts, and, when taken into the stom- 
ach, did not quench thirst in the slightest degree, 
but^ on the contrary, produced a most pamful and 

WATER. 49 

burning sensation, accompanied witli diarrhoea. 
During the four days that we were compelled to 
drink this water the thermometer rose to 104° m 
the shade, and the only relief we found was from 
bathing in the river. 

The use of water is a matter of habit, very mudhi 
withm our control, as by practice we may discipline 
ourselves so as to require but a small amount. 
Some persons, for example, who place no restraint 
upon their appetites, will, if they can get it, drink 
water twenty times a day, while others will not 
perhaps drink more than once or twice during the 
same time. I have found a very effectual prevent- 
ive to thirst by drinking a large quantity of water 
before breakfast, and, on feeling thirsty on the 
march, chewing a small green twig or leaf. 

Water taken from stagnant pools, charged with 
putrid vegetable matter and animalculge, would be 
very likely to generate fevers and dysenteries if 
taken into the stomach without purification. It 
should therefore be thoroughly boiled, and all the 
scum removed from the surface as it rises; this 
clarifies it, and by mixing powdered charcoal with 
it the disinfecting process is perfected. Water 
may also be purified by placing a piece of alum in 
the end of a stick that has been split, and stirring 
it around in a bucket of water. Charcoal and the 
leaves of the j^rickly pear are also used for the same 
purpose. I have recently seen a compact and port- 
able filter, made of charcoal, which clarifies the wa- 


ter very effectually, and draws it off on the siphon 
principle. It can be obtained at 85 West Street, 
'Ne^Y York, for one dollar and a half. Water may 
be partially filtered in a muddy pond by taking a 
barrel and boring the lower half full of holes, then 
filling it up with grass or moss above the upper 
holes, after which it is placed in the pond with the 
top above the surface. The water filters through 
the grass or moss, and rises in the barrel to a level 
with the pond. Travelers frequently drink muddy 
water by placing a cloth or handkerchief over the 
mouth of a cup to catch the larger particles of dii't 
and anunalculse. 

Water may be cooled so as to be quite palatable 
by wrapping cloths around the vessels containing it, 
wetting them, and hanging them in the air, where 
a rapid evaporation will be j^roduced. Some of the 
frontier-men use a leathern sack for carrying water ; 
this is porous, and allows the necessary evaporation 
without wetting. 

The Arabs also use a leathern bottle, which they 
call zemsemiyah. When they are en route they 
hang it on the shady side of a camel, where the 
evaporation keeps the water continually cool. 

No expedition should ever set out mto the plains 
without being supphed with the means for carrying 
water, especially in an unknown region. If wooden 
kegs are used they must frequently be looked after, 
and soaked, m order that they may not shrink and 
fall to pieces. Men, in marching in a hot climate, 

WATEK. 51 

throw off a great amount of perspiration from the 
skin, and require a corresponding quantity of water 
to supply the deficiency, and imless they get this 
they suffer greatly. When a party makes an ex- 
pedition into a desert section, where there is a 
probability of finding no water, and intend to re- 
turn over the same track, it is well to carry water 
as far as convenient, and bury it in the ground for 
use on the return trip. 

" Captain Sturt, when he explored AustraHa, took 
a tank in his cart, which burst, and, besides that, he 
carried casks of water. By these he was enabled 
to face a desert country with a success which no 
traveler had ever attained to. For instance, when 
returning homeward, the water was found to be 
drying up from the country on all sides of him. 
He was at a pool, and the next stage was 118 
miles, at the end of which it was doubtful if there 
remained any water. It was necessary to send to 
reconnoitre, and to furnish the messenger Avith 
means of returning should the pool be found dry. 
He killed a bullock, skinned it, and, filling the skin 
with water (which held 150 gallons), sent it by an 
ox dray 30 miles, with orders to bury it and to re- 
turn. Shortly after he dispatched a light one-horse 
cart, carrying 36 gallons of water ; the horse and 
man were to drink at the hide and go on. Thus 
they had 36 gallons to su^^ply them for a journey 
of 176 miles, or six days at 30 miles a day, at the 
close of which they would return to the ox hide — 


sleeping, in fact, five nights on 36 gallons of water. 
This a hardy, well-driven horse could do, even in 
the hottest climate."* 


In some localities 50 or 60 miles, and even greater 
distances, are frequently traversed without water; 
these long stretches are called by the Mexicans 
'•'• journadas^^ or day's journeys. There is one in 
l!^ew Mexico called Journada del Muerto^ which is 
784 miles in length, Avhere, in a dry season, there is 
not a drop of water ; yet, with proper care, this 
drive can be made with ox or mule teams, and 
Avithout loss or injury to the animals. 

On arriving at the last camping-ground before 
entering upon the journada, all the animals should 
be as well rested and refreshed as possible. To m- 
sure this, they must be turned out upon the best 
grass that can be found, and allowed to eat and 
drmk as much as they desire during the entire 
halt. Should the weather be very warm, and the 
teams composed of oxen, the march should not be 
resumed until it begins to cool in the afternoon. 
They should be carefully watered just j)revious to 
being hitched up and started out upon the journada, 
the water-kegs having been previously filled. The 
drive is then commenced, and continued during the 
entire night, with 10 or 15 minutes rest every two 
hours. About daylight a halt should be made, and 
* F. Galton's Art of Travel, p. 17 and 18. 


the animals immediately tm-ned out to graze for 
two hours, during which time, especially if there is 
dew upon the grass, they will have become consid- 
erably refreshed, and may be put to the wagons 
again and driven until the heat becomes oppressive 
toward noon, when they are again turned out upon 
a spot where the grass is good, and, if possible, 
where there are shade trees. About four o'clock 
P.M. they are again started, and the march con- 
tinued into the night, and as long as they can be 
driven without suffering. If, however, there should 
be dew, which is seldom the case on the plains, it 
would be well to turn out the animals several times 
during the second night, and by morning, if they 
are in good condition, the journada of VO or 80 
miles will have been passed without any great 
amount of suflering. I am supposing, in this case, 
that the road is firm and free from sand. 

Many persons have been under the impression 
that animals, in traversing the plains, would perform 
better and keep in better condition by allowing 
them to graze in the morning before commencing 
the day's march, which involves the necessity of 
making late starts, and driving during the heat of 
the day. The same persons have been of the opin- 
ion that animals will graze only at particular hours ; 
that the remainder of the day must be allowed them 
for rest and sleep, and that, unless these rules be 
observed, they would not thrive. This opinion is, 
however, erroneous, as animals will in a few days 


adapt themselves to any circumstances, so far as 
regards their hom-s of labor, rest, and refreshment. 
If they have been accustomed to work at particular 
periods of the day, and the order of things is sud- 
denly reversed, the working hours changed into 
hours of rest, and vice versa^ they may not do as 
well for a short time, but they mil soon accustom 
themselves to the change, and eat and rest as well 
as before. By maldng early drives during the 
summer months the heat of the day is avoided, 
whereas, I repeat, if allowed to graze before start- 
ing, the march can not commence until it grows 
warm, when animals, especially oxen, will suffer 
greatly from the heat of the sun, and will not do 
as well as when the other plan is pursued. 

Oxen upon a long journey will sometimes wear 
down their hoofs and become lame. When this 
occurs, a thick piece of raw hide wi'apped around 
the foot and tied firmly to the leg will obviate the 
difficulty, provided the weather is not wet ; for if 
so, the shoe soon wears out. Mexican and Indian 
horses and mules will make long journeys without 
being shod, as their hoofs are tough and elastic, and 
wear away very gradually ; they will, however, in 
time become very smooth, making it difficult for 
them to travel upon grass. 

A train of wagons should always be kept closed 
upon a march ; and if, as often happens, a particular 
wagon gets out of order and is obliged to halt, it 
should be turned out of the road, to let the others 


pass while the injury is being repaired. As soon 
as the broken wagon is in order, it should fall into 
the line wherever it happens to be. In the event 
of a wagon breaking down so as to requu-e import- 
ant repairs, men should be immediately dispatched 
with the necessary tools and materials, which should 
be placed in the train where they can readily be got 
at, and a guard should be left to escort the wagon 
to camp after having been repaired. If, however, 
the damage be so serious as to require any great 
length of time to repair it, the load should be trans- 
ferred to other wagons, so that the team which is 
left behmd will be able to travel rapidly and over- 
take the train. 

If the broken wagon is a poor one, and there be 
abundance of better ones, the accident bemg such 
as to involve much delay for its repair, it may be 
wise to abandon it, taking from it such parts as 
may possibly be wanted in repairing other wagons. 


A few men, well mounted, should constitute the 
advance and rear guards for each train of wagons 
passing through the Indian country. Their duty 
will be to keep a vigilant look-out in all directions, 
and to reconnoitre places where Indians would be 
likely to He in ambush. Should hostile Indians be 
discovered, the fact should be at once reported to 
the commander, who (if he anticipates an attack) 
will rapidly form his wagons into a circle or " cor- 


ral^'' with the ammals toward the centre, and the 
men on the inside, with their arms in readiness to 
repel an attack from without. If these arrange- 
ments be properly attended to, few parties of In- 
dians will venture to make an attack, as they are 
well aware that some of their warriors might pay 
with their lives the forfeit of such indiscretion. 

I know an instance where one resolute man, pur- 
sued for several days by a large party of Comanches 
on the Santa Fe trace, defended himself by dis- 
mounting and pointmg his rifle at the foremost 
whenever they came near him, which always had 
the effect of turning them back. This was repeated 
so often that the Indians finally abandoned the pur- 
suit, and left the traveler to pursue his journey 
without farther molestation. During all this time 
he did not discharge his rifle ; had he done so he 
would doubtless have been killed. 


The security of animals, and, indeed, the general 
safety of a party, in traveling through a country 
occupied by hostile Indians, depends greatly upon 
the judicious selection of camps. One of the most 
important considerations that should influence the 
choice of a locality is its capability for defense. If 
the camp be pitched beside a stream, a concave 
bend, where the Avater is deep, with a soft alluvial 
bed inclosed by higli and abrupt banks, will be the 
most defensible, and all the more should tlie con- 


cavity form a peninsula. The advantages of such a 
position are obvious to a soldier's eye, as that part 
of the encampment inclosed by the stream is natu- 
rally secure, and leaves only one side to be defended. 
The concavity of the bend will enable the defending 
party to cross its fire in case of attack from the ex- 
posed side. The bend of the stream will also form 
an excellent corral in w^hich to secure animals from 
a stampede, and thereby diminish the number of 
sentmels needful around the camp. In herding ani- 
mals at night within the bend of a stream, a spot 
should be selected where no clumps of brush grow 
on the side where the animals are posted. If thick- 
ets of brush can not be avoided, sentinels should be 
placed near them, to guard agamst Indians, Avho 
might take advantage of this cover to steal animals, 
or shoot them down with arrows, before their pres- 
ence were known. 

In camping away from streams, it is advisable to 
select a position in which one or more sides of the 
encampment shall rest upon the crest of an abrupt 
hill or bluff. The prairie Indians make their cameos 
upon the summits of the hills, whence they can see 
in all directions, and thus avoid a surj^rise. 

The line of tents should be pitched on that side 
of the camp most exposed to attack, and sentinels 
so posted that they may give alarm in time for the 
main body to rally and prepare for defense. 



When camping near rivers and lakes surrounded 
by large bodies of timber and a luxuriant vegeta- 
tion, which produces a great amount of decomposi- 
tion and consequent exhalations of malaria, it is im- 
portant to ascertain what localities Avill be the least 
hkely to generate disease, and to affect the sanitary 
condition of men occupying them. 

This subject has been thoroughly examined by 
Dr. Robert Johnson, Inspector General of Hospitals 
in the English army in 1845 ; and, as his conclusions 
are deduced from enlarged experience and extended 
research, they should have great weight. I shall 
therefore make no apology for introducing here a 
few extracts from his interesting report touching 
upon this subject : 

" It is consonant with the experience of military 
people, in all ages and in all countries, that camp 
diseases most abound near the muddy banks of 
large rivers, near swamps and ponds, and on grounds 
which have been recently stripped of their Avoods. 
The fact is precise, but it has been set aside to make 
way for an opinion. It was assumed, about half 
a century since, by a celebrated army physician, 
that camp diseases originated from causes of putre- 
faction, and that putrefaction is connected radically 
with a stagnant condition of the air. 

" As streams of air usually proceed along rivers 
with more certainty and force than in other places, 


and as there is evidently a more certain movement 
of air, that is, more wind on oj^en grounds than 
among woods and thickets, this sole considera- 
tion, without any regard to experience, influenced 
opinion, gave currency to the destructive maxim 
that the banks of rivers, open groimds, and exposed 
heights are the most eligible situations for the en- 
campment of troops. They are the best ventilated ; 
they must, if the theory be true, be the most 

" The fact is the reverse ; but, demonstrative as 
the fact may be, fashion has more mfluence than 
multiplied examples of fact experimentally proved. 
Encampments are still formed m the vicinity of 
swamps, or on grounds which are newly cleared 
of their woods, in obedience to theory, and contrary 
to fact. 

" It is prudent, as now said, in selecting ground 
for encampment^ to avoid the immediate vicinity 
of swamps and rivers. The air is there noxious ; 
but, as its influence thence originating does not 
extend beyond a certain limit, it is a matter of 
some importance to ascertain to what distance it 
does extend ; because, if circumstances do not per- 
mit that the encampment be removed out of its 
reach, prudence directs that remedies be applied to 
weaken the force of its pernicious impressions. 

" The remedies consist in the interposition of ris- 
ing grounds, woods, or such other impediments as 
serve to break the current in its progress from the 


noxious source. It is an obvious fact, that the 
noxious cause, or the exhalation in which it is en- 
veloped, ascends as it traverses the adjacent plain, 
and that its impression is augmented by the adven- 
titious force with which it strikes upon the subject 
of its action. 

" It is thus that a position of three hundi*ed paces 
from the margin of a swamp, on a level with the 
swamp itself, or but moderately elevated, is less 
unhealthy than one at six hundred on the same line 
of direction on an exposed height. The cause here 
strikes fully in its ascent ; and as the atmosphere 
has a more varied temperature, and the succussions 
of the air are more irreorular on the heis^ht than on 
the plain, the impression is more forcible, and the 
noxious effect more strongly marked. In accord 
with this principle, it is almost uniformly true, 
coeteris paribus^ that diseases are more common, 
at least more violent, in broken, irregular, and hilly 
countries, where the temperature is Uable to sudden 
changes, and where blasts descend with fury from 
the mountains, than in large and extensive inclined 
plains under the action of equal and gentle breezes 

" From this fact it becomes an object of the first 
consideration, in selecting ground for encampment, 
to guard against the impression of strong winds on 
their own account, independently of their proceed- 
ing from swamps, rivers, and noxious soils. 

" It is proved l)y experience, in armies as in civil 


life, that injury does not often result from simple 
wetting with rain when the person is fairly exposed 
in the open air, and habitually inured to the con- 
tingencies of weather. Irregular troops, which act 
in the advanced line of armies, and which have no 
other shelter from weather than a hedge or tree, 
rarely experience sickness — never, at least, the sick- 
ness which proceeds from contagion; hence it is 
inferred that the shelter of tents is not necessary 
for the preservation of health. Irregular troOps, 
with contingent shelter only, are comparatively 
healthy, while sickness often rages with violence in 
the same scenae, among those who have all the j^ro- 
tection against the inclemencies of weather which 
can be furnished by canvas. The fact is verified 
by experience, and the cause of it is not of difficult 
explanation. When the earth is damp, the action 
of heat on its surface occasions the interior moisture 
to ascend. The heat of the bodies of a given num- 
ber of men, confined within a tent of a given dimen- 
sion, raises the temperature within the tent beyond 
the temperature of the common air outside the 
tent. The ascent of moisture is thus encouraged, 
generally by a change of temperature in the tent, 
and more particularly by the immediate or near 
contact of the heated bodies of the men with the 
surface of the earth. Moisture, as exhaled from the 
earth, is considered by observers of fact to be a 
cause which acts mjuriously on health. Produced 
artificially by the accumulation of individuals in 


close tents, it may reasonably be supposed to pro- 
duce its usual effects on armies. A cause of con- 
tagious influence, of fatal effect, is thus generated 
by accumulating soldiers in close and crowded tents, 
under the pretext of defending them from the in- 
clemencies of the weather ; and hence it is that the 
means which are provided for the preservation of 
health are actually the causes of destruction of life. 
. " There are two causes which more evidently act 
upon the health of troops in the field than any other, 
namely, moisture exhaled direct from the surface of 
the earth in undue quantity, and emanations of a 
peculiar character arising from diseased action in 
the animal system in a mass of men crowded to- 
gether. These are principal, and they are import- 
ant. The noxious effects may be obviated, or rather 
the noxious cause will not be generated, under the 
following arrangement, namely, a carpet of paint- 
ed canvas for the floor of the tent ; a tent with a 
hght roof, as defense against perpendicular rain or 
the rays of a vertical sun ; and with side waUs of 
moderate height, to be employed only against driv- 
ing rains. To the first there can be no objection i 
it is useful, as preventing the exhalations of moist' 
ure from the surface of the earth ; it is convenient^ 
as always ready ; and it is economical, as less ex^ 
pensive than straw. It requires to be fresh painted 
only once a year." 

The effect of crowding men together in close 
quarters, illy ventilated, was shown in the prisons 


of Hindostan, where at one time, when the English 
held sway, they had, on an average, 40,000 natives 
in confinement; and this unfortunate population 
was every year liberated by death in proportions 
varying from 4000 to 10,000. The annual average 
mortality by crowded and unventilated barracks in 
the English army has sometimes been enormous, as 
at Barrackpore, where it seldom fell far short of 
one tenth ; that is to say, its garrisons were every 
year decimated by fever or cholera, while the offi- 
cers and other inhabitants, who lived in well-venti- 
lated houses, did not find the place particularly un- 

The same fact of general exemption among the 
officers, and complete exemption among their wives, 
was observed m the marching regiments, which 
lost by cholera from one tenth to one sixth of the 
enlisted men, who were packed together at night ten 
and twelve in a tent, with the thermometer at 96°. 
The dimensions of the celebrated Black Hole of Cal- 
cutta — where in 1756,123 prisoners out of 140 died 
by carbonic acid in one night — was but eighteen 
feet square, and with but two small windows. Most 
of the twenty-three who survived until morning 
were seized with putrid fever and died very soon 

On the 1st of December, 1848, 150 deck passen- 
gers of the steamer Londonderry were ordered be- 
low by the captain and the hatches closed upon 
them : seventy were found dead the next morning. 


The streams which mtersect our great prairies 
have but a very sparse growth of Avood or vegeta- 
tion upon their banks, so that one of the fundament- 
al causes for the generation of noxious malaria does 
not, to any great extent, exist here, and I beHeve 
that persons may encamp with impunity directly 
upon their banks. 


When a party is sufficiently strong, a picket guard 
sliould be stationed during the night some tAvo or 
three hundred yards in advance of the point which 
is most open to assault, and on low ground, so that 
an enemy approaching over the surrounding higher 
country can be seen agamst the sky, while the sen- 
tinel himself is screened from observation. These 
sentinels should not be allowed to keej) fires, unless 
they are so placed that they can not be seen from a 

During the day the pickets should be posted on 
the summits of the highest eminences in the vicinity 
of camp, with instructions to keep a vigilant look- 
out in all directions ; and, if not within hailing dis- 
tance, they should be instructed to give some well- 
understood telegraphic signals to mform those in 
camp wlien there is danger. For exam^Dle, should 
Indians be discovered approaching at a great dis- 
tance, they may raise their caps ui)on the muzzles 
of their pieces, and at the same time walk around in 
a circle ; Avhile, if the Indians are near and mo\ang 


rajjidly, the sentinel may swing his cap and run 
around rapidly in a circle. To indicate the direc- 
tion from which the Indians are approaching, he 
may direct his piece toward them, and walk in the 
same line of direction. 

Should the pickets suddenly discover a party of 
Indians A^ery near, and with the apparent intention 
of making an attack, they should fire their pieces to 
give the alarm to the camp. 

These telegraphic signals, when well understood 
and enforced, will tend greatly to facilitate the com- 
munication of intelligence throughout the camp, and 
conduce much to its security. 

The picket guards should receive minute and 
strict orders regarding their duties under all circum- 
stances, and these orders should be distinctly un- 
derstood by every one in the camp, so that no false 
alarms will be created. All persons, with the ex- 
ception of the guards and herders, should after dark 
be confined to the limits of the chain of sentinels, so 
that, if any one is seen approaching from without 
these limits, it will be known that they are stran- 

As there will not often be occasion for any one to 
pass the chain of pickets during the night, it is a 
good rule (especially if the party is small), when a 
picket sentinel discovers any one lurking about his 
post from without, if he has not himself been seen, 
to quietly withdraw and report the fact to the com- 
mander, who can wake his men and make his ar- 


rangements to repel an attack and protect his ani- 
mals. If, however, the man upon the picket has been 
seen, he should distinctly challenge the approaching 
party, and if he receives no answer, fire, and retreat 
to camp to report the fact. 

It is of the utmost importance that picket guards 
should be wide awake, and allow nothing to escape 
their observation, as the safety of the whole camp 
is involved. During a dark night a man can see 
better himself, and is less exposed to the view of 
others, when in a sittmg posture than when stand- 
ing up or moving about. I would therefore rec- 
ommend this practice for night pickets. 

Horses and mules (especially the latter), whose 
senses of hearing and smelling are probably more 
acute than those of almost any other animals, will 
discover any thing strange or unusual about camp 
much sooner than a man. They indicate this by 
turning in the direction from whence the object is 
approaching, holding their heads erect, projecting 
their ears forward, and standing in a fixed and at- 
tentive attitude. They exhibit the same signs of 
alarm when a wolf or other wild animal ajDproaches 
the camp ; but it is always wise, when they show 
fear in this manner, to be on the alert till the cause 
is ascertained. 

Mules are very keenly sensitive to danger, and, in 
passing along over the prairies, they will often de- 
tect the proximity of strangers long before they are 
discovered by their riders. Nothing seems to es- 


cape their observation ; and I have heard of several 
instances where they have given timely notice of 
the approach of hostile Indians, and thus prevented 

Dogs are sometimes good sentinels, but they often 
sleep sound, and are not easily awakened on the ap- 
proach of an enemy. 

In marching with large force, unless there is a 
guide who knows the country, a small party should 
always be sent in advance to search for good camp- 
ing-places, and these parties should be dispatched 
early enough to return and meet the main command 
in the event of not finding a camping-place within 
the limits of the day's march. A regiment should 
average upon the prairies, where the roads are good, 
about eighteen miles a day, but, if necessary, it can 
make 25 or even 30 miles. The advance party 
should therefore go as far as the command can 
march, provided the requisites for camping are not 
found within that distance. The article of first im- 
portance in campaigning is grass, the next water, 
and the last fuel. 

It is the practice of most persons traveling with 
large ox trains to select their camps upon the sum- 
mit of a hill, where the surrounding country in all 
directions can be seen. Their cattle are then con- 
tinually within view from the camp, and can be 
guarded easily. 

When a halt is made the wagons are " corraled," 
as it is called, by bringing the two front ones near 


and parallel to each other. The two next are then 
driven up on the outside of these, with the front 
Avheels of the former touching the rear wheels of 
the latter, the rear of the wagons turned out upon 
the circumference of the circle that is being formed, 
and so on until one half the circle is made, when 
the rear of the wagons are turned in to. complete 
the circle. An opening of about twenty yards 
should be left between the last two wagons for 
animals to pass in and out of the corral, and this 
may be closed with two ropes stretched between 
the wagons. Such a corral forms an excellent and 
secure barricade against Indian attacks, and a good 
inclosure for cattle while they are bemg yoked ; in- 
deed, it is indispensable. 


Inclosures are made in the same manner for horses 
and mules, and, in case of an attempt to stampede 
them, they should be driven with all possible dis- 
patch into the corral, where they will be perfectly 
secure. A " stampede" is more to be dreaded upon 
the plains than almost any disaster that can happen. 
It not unfrequently occurs that very many animals 
are irretrievably lost in this way, and the objects of 
an expedition thus defeated. 

The Indians are perfectly familiar with the habits 
and disposition of horses and mules, and with the 
most effectual methods of terrifying them. Previ- 
ous to attempting a stampede, they provide them- 


selves with rattles and other means for making 
frightful noises; thus prepared, they approach as 
near the herds as possible without being seen, and 
suddenly, with their horses at full speed, rush in 
among them, making the most hideous and un- 
earthly screams and noises to terrify them, and 
drive them off before their astonished owners are 
able to rally and secure them. 

As soon as the animals are started the Indians 
divide their party, leaving a portion to hurry them 
off rapidly, while the rest linger some distance in 
the rear, to resist those who may pursue them. 

Horses and mules will sometimes, especially in 
the night, become frightened and stampeded from 
very slight causes. A wolf or a deer passing 
through a herd will often alarm them, and cause 
them to break away in the most frantic manner. 
Upon one occasion in the Choctaw country, my 
entire herd of about two hundred horses and mules 
all stampeded in the night, and scattered over the 
country for many miles, and it was several days be- 
fore I succeeded in collecting them together. The 
alarm occurred while the herders were walking 
among the animals, and without any perceptible 
cause. The foregoing facts go to show how im- 
portant it is at all times to keep a vigilant guard 
over animals. In the vicinity of hostile Indians, 
where an attack may be anticipated, several good 
horses should be secured in such positions that they 
will continually be in readiness for an emergency 


of this kind. The herdsmen should have their 
horses in hand, saddled and bridled, and ready at 
an instant's notice to spring upon their backs and 
drive the herds into camp. As soon as it is dis- 
covered that the animals have taken fright, the 
herdsmen should use their utmost endeavors to 
turn them in the direction of the camp,, and this 
can generally be accomplished by riding the bell 
mare in front of the herd, and gradually turning 
her toward it, and slackening her speed as the fa- 
miUar objects about the camp come in sight. This 
usually tends to quiet their alarm. 



Repairing broken Wagons. — Fording Rivers. — Quicksand. — 
Wagon Boats. — Bull Boats. — Crossing Packs. — Swimming 
Animals. — Marching with loose Horses. — Herding Mules. 
— Best Methods of Marching. — Herding and guarding Ani- 
mals. — Descending Mountains. — Storms. — Northers. 


The accidents most liable to happen to wagons 
on the plains arise from the great dryness of the 
atmosphere, and the consequent shrmkage and con- 
traction of the wood- work in the wheels, the tu-es 
working loose, and the wheels, in passing over sid- 
ling ground, oftentimes falling down and breaking 
all the spokes where they enter the hub. It there- 
fore becomes a matter of absolute necessity for the 
prairie traveler to devise some means of repairing 
such damages, or of guarding against them by the 
use of timely expedients. 

The wheels should be frequently and closely ex- 
amined, and whenever a tire becomes at all loose 
it should at once be tightened with pieces of hoop- 
iron or wooden wedges driven by twos simulta- 
neously from opposite sides. Another remedy for 
the same thing is to take off the wheels after en- 
camping, sink them in water, and allow them to re- 
main over niecht. This swells the wood, but is only 


temporary, requiring frequent repetition ; and, after 
a time, if the wheels have not been made of thor- 
oughly seasoned timber, it becomes necessary to 
reset the tires in order to guard against their de- 
struction by falling to pieces and breaking the 

If the tires run off near a blacksmith's shop, or 
if there be a traveling forge with the train, they 
may be tied on with raw hide or ropes, and thus 
driven to the shop or camp. When a rear wheel 
breaks down upon a march, the best method I know 
of for taking the vehicle to a place where it can be 
repaired is to take off the damaged wheel, and place 
a stout j)ole of three or four inches in diameter un- 
der the end of the axle, outside the wagon-bed, and 
extending forward above the front wheel, where it 
is firmly lashed with ropes, while the other end of 
the pole runs six or eight feet to the rear, and drags 
u-pon the ground. The pole must be of such length 
and mclination that the axle shall be raised and re- 
tained in its proper horizontal position, when it can 
be driven to any distance that may be desired. 
The wagon should be relieved as much as practica- 
ble of its loading, as the pole dragging upon the 
ground will cause it to run heavily. 

When a front wheel breaks down, the expedient 
just mentioned can not be apphed to the front axle, 
but the two rear wheels may be taken off and 
placed upon this axle (they will always fit), while 
the sound front wheel can be substituted ui>on one 


side of the rear axle, after which the pole may be 
applied as before described. This plan I have 
adopted upon several different occasions, and I can 
vouch for its efficacy. 

The foregoing facts may appear very simple and 
unimportant in themselves, but blacksmiths and 
wheelwrights are not met with at every turn of the 
roads upon the prairies ; and in the wilderness, where 
the traveler is dependent solely upon his own re- 
sources, this kind of information will be found high- 
ly useful. 

When the spokes in a wheel shrink more than 
the felloes, they work loose in the hub, and can not 
be tightened by wedging. The only remedy m 
such cases is to cut the felloe with a saw on oppo- 
site sides, taking out two pieces of such dimensions 
that the reduced circumference will draw back the 
spokes into their proper places and make them snug. 
A thin wagon-bow, or barrel-hoops, may then be 
wrapped around the outside of the felloe, and se- 
cured with small nails or tacks. This increases the 
diameter of the wheel, so that when the tire has 
been heated, put on, and cooled, it forces back the 
spokes into their true places, and makes the wheel 
as sound and strong as it ever was. This simple 
process can be executed in about half an hour if 
there be fuel for heating, and obviates the necessity 
of cutting and welding the tire. I would recom- 
mend that the tires should be secured with bolts 
and nuts, which will prevent them from running 


off when they work loose, and, if they have been 
cut and reset, they should be well tried with a ham- 
mer where they are welded to make sure that the 
junction is sound. 


Many streams that intersect the different routes 
across our continent are broad and shallow, and 
flow over beds of quicksand, which, in seasons of 
high water, become boggy and unstable, and are 
then exceedingly difficult of crossing. When these 
streams are on the rise, and, indeed, before any 
swelling is perceptible, their beds become sur- 
charged with the sand loosened by the action of the 
mider-current from the approaching flood, and from 
this time until the water subsides fording is diffi- 
cult, requiring great precautions. 

On arriving upon the bank of a river of this 
character which has not recently been crossed, the 
condition of the quicksand may be ascertained by 
sending an mtelligent man over the fording-place, 
and, should the sand not yield under his feet, it 
may be regarded as safe for animals or wagons. 
Should it, however, prove soft and yielding, it must 
be thoroughly examined, and the best track select- 
ed. This can be done by a man on foot, who will 
take a number of sharp sticks long enough, when 
driven into the bottom of the river, to stand above 
the surffice of the Avater. He starts from the shore, 
and with one of the sticks and Ids feet tries the 


bottom in the direction of the opposite bank untU 
he finds the firmest ground, where he plants one 
of the sticks to mark the track. A man incurs no 
danger in walking over quicksand provided he 
step rapidly, and he will soon detect the safest 
ground. He then proceeds, planting his sticks as 
often as may be necessary to mark the way, until 
he reaches the opposite bank. The ford is thus as- 
certained, and, if there are footmen in the party, 
they should cross before the animals and wagons, 
as they pack the sand, and make the track more 
firm and secure. 

If the sand is soft, horses should be led across, 
and not allowed to stojD m the stream; and the 
better to insure this, they should be watered before 
entering upon the ford ; otherwise, as soon as they 
stand still, their feet sink in the sand, and soon it 
becomes difiicult to extricate them. The same rule 
holds in the passage of wagons : they must be driven 
steadily across, and the animals never allowed to 
stop while in the river, as the wheels sink rapidly 
in quicksand. Mules will often stop from fear, and, 
when once embarrassed in the sand, they lie down, 
and will not use the slightest exertion to regain 
their footing. The only alternative, then, is to drag 
them out with ropes. I have even known some 
mules refuse to put forth the least exertion to get 
up after being pulled out upon firm ground, and it 
was necessary to set them upon their feet before 
they were restored to a consciousness of their own 


lu crossing rivers where the water is so high as 
to come into the wagon-beds, but is not above a 
fording stage, the contents of the wagons may be 
kept dry by raising the beds between the uprights, 
and retaining them in that position with blocks of 
wood placed at each corner between the rockers 
and the bottom of the wagon-beds. The. blocks 
must be squared at each end, and their length, of 
course, should vary with the depth of water, which 
can be determined before cutting them. This is a 
very common and simple method of passing streams 
among emigrant travelers. 

When streams are deep, with a very rapid cur- 
rent, it is difficult for the drivers to direct their 
teams to the proper coming-out places, as the cur- 
rent has a tendency to carry them too far down. 
This difficulty may be obviated by attaching a lariat 
rope to the leading animals, and having a mounted 
man ride in front with the rope in his hand, to assist 
the team in stemming the current, and direct it to- 
ward the point of egress. It is also a wise pre- 
caution, if the ford be at all hazardous, to place a 
mounted man on the lower side of the team with a 
whip, to urge forward any animal that may not 
work properly. 

Where rivers are wide, with a swift current, they 
should always, if possible, be forded obliquely down 
stream, as the action of the water against the wag- 
ons assists very materially in carrying them across. 
In crossing the North Platte upon the Cherokee 
trail at a season when the water was hisjh and 


very rapid, we were obliged to take the only prac- 
ticable ford, wHch ran diagonally up the stream. 
The consequence was, that the heavy current, com- 
ing down with great force agamst the wagons, offer- 
ed such powerful resistance to the efforts of the 
mules that it was with difficulty they could retam 
their footing, and several were drowned. Had the 
ford crossed obhquely down the river, there would 
have been no difficulty. 

When it becomes necessary, with loaded wagons, 
to cross a stream of this character against the cur- 
rent, I would recommend that the teams be doubled, 
the leading animals led, a horseman placed on each 
side with whips to assist the driver, and that, be- 
fore the first wagon enters the water, a man should 
be sent in advance to ascertain the best ford. 

During seasons of high water, men, in traversing 
the plains, often encounter rivers which rise above 
a fording stage, and remain in that condition for 
many days, and to await the falHng of the water 
might involve a great loss of time. If the traveler 
be alone, his only way is to swim his horse ; but if 
he retains the seat on his saddle, his weight presses 
the animal down into the water, and cramps his 
movements very sensibly. It is a much better plan 
to attach a cord to the bridle-bit, and drive him 
into the stream ; then, seizing his tail, allow him to 
tow you across. If he turns out of the course, or 
attempts to turn back, he can be checked with the 
cord, or by splashing water at his head. If the 
rider remams in the saddle, he should allow the 


horse to have a loose rein, and never pull upon it 
except when necessary to guide. If he wishes to 
steady himself, he can lay hold upon the mane. 

In traveling with large parties, the following ex- 
pedients for crossing rivers have been successfully 
resorted to within my own experience, and they 
are attended with no risk to life or property. 

A rapid and deep stream, with high, abrupt, and 
soft banks, probably presents the most formidable 
array of unfavorable circumstances that can be 
found. Streams of this character are occasionally 
met with, and it is important to know how to cross 
them with the greatest promptitude and safety. 

A train of wagons having arrived upon the bank 
of such a stream, first select the best point for the 
passage, where the banks upon both sides require 
the least excavation for a place of ingress and 
egress to and from the river. As I have before re- 
marked, the place of entering the river should be 
above the coming-out place on the oj)posite bank, 
as the current will then assist in carrying wagons 
and animals across. A spot should be sought where 
the bed of the stream is firm at the place where the 
animals are to get out on the opposite bank. If, 
however, no such place can be found, brush and 
cartli should be thrown in to make a foundation 
sufiicient to support the animals, and to prevent 
them from bogging. After the j^lace for crossing 
has been selected, it will be important to determine 
tlie breadth of the river between the points of in- 
gross and egress, in order to show tlie length of 


rope necessary to reach across. A very simple 
practical method of doing this without instrmnents 
is found in the French " Manuel du Genie." It is 
as follows : 

The line AB (the distance to be measured) is extended upon the bank 
to D, from which point, after having marked it, lay off equal distances, DC 
and Cd; produce BC to 6, making CB=C&; then extend the line db until 
it intersects the prolongation of the line through CA at a. The distance 
between ah is equal to AB, or the width of the crossing. 



A man who is an expert swimmer then takes the 
end of a fishing-Hne or a small cord in his month, 
and carries it across, leaving the other end fixed 
upon the opposite bank, after which a lariat is at- 
tached to the cord, and one end of it pulled across 
and made fast to a tree ; but if there is nothing 
convenient to which the lariat can be attached, an 
extra axle or coupling-pole can be pulled over by 
the man who has crossed, firmly planted in the 
ground, and the rope tied to it. The rope must be 
long enough to extend twice across the stream, so 
that one end may always be left on each shore. A 
very good substitute for a ferry-boat may be made 
with a wagon-bed by filling it with empty water- 
casks, stopped tight and secured in the wagon with 
ropes, with a cask lashed opposite the centre of 
each outside. It is then placed in the water bot- 
tom upward, and the rope that has been stretched 
across the stream attached to one end of it, while 
another rope is made fast to the other end, after 
which it is loaded, the shore-end loosened, and the 
men on the opposite bank pull it across to the land- 
ing, where it is discharged and returned for another 
load, and so on until all the baggage and men are 
passed over. 

The wagons can be taken across by fastening 
them down to the axles, attaching a rope to the 
end of the tongue, and another to the rear of each 
to steady it and hold it from drifting below the 
landing. It is then pushed into the stream, and 


the men on the opposite bank pull it over. I have 
passed a large train of wagons in this way across 
a rapid stream fifteen feet deep without any diffi- 
culty. I took, at the same time, a six-pounder can- 
non, which was separated from its carriage, and 
ferried over upon the wagon-boat ; after which 
the carriage was pulled over in the same way as 
described for the wagons. 

There are not always a sufficient number of air- 
tight water-casks to fill a wagon-bed, but a tent- 
fly, paulin, or wagon-cover can generally be had. 
In this event, the wagon-bed may be placed in the 
centre of one of these, the cloth brought up around 
the ends and sides, and secured firmly with ropes 
tied around transversely, and another rope fastened 
lengthwise around under the rim. This holds the 
cloth in its place, and the wagon may then be 
placed in the water right side upward, and man- 
aged in the same manner as in the other case. If 
the cloth be made of cotton, it will soon swell so as 
to leak but very little, and answers a very good 

Another method of ferrying streams is by means 
of what is called by the mountaineers a " hull-hoat^'' 
the frame-work of which is made of willows bent 
into the shape of a short and wide skiflT, with a flat 
bottom. Willows grow upon the banks of almost 
all the streams on the prairies, and can be bent into 
any shape desired. To make a boat with but one 
hide, a number of straight wiUows are cut about an 


inch ill diameter, the ends sharpened and driven 
into the ground, forming a frame- work in the shape 
of a half egg-shell cut through the longitudinal axis* 
Where these rods cross they are fii-mly secured 
with strings. A stout rod is then heated and bent 
aroimd the frame in such a position that the edges 
of the hide, when laid over it and drawn tight, will 
just reach it. This rod forms the gunwale, which 
is secured by strings to the ribs. Small rods are 
then wattled in so as to make it symmetrical and 
strong. After which the green or soaked hide is 
thrown over the edges, sewed to the gunwales, and 
left to dry. The rods are then cut off even with 
the gunwale, and the boat is ready for use. 

To build a boat with two or more hides : A 
stout pole of the desired length is placed uj)on the 
ground for a keel, the ends turned up and secured 
by a lariat ; willow rods of the required dimensions 
are then cut, heated, and bent into the proper shape 
for knees, after which their centres are placed at 
equal distances upon the keel, and firmly tied with 
cords. The knees are retained in their proper curv- 
ature by cords around the ends. After a sufficient 
number of them have been placed upon the keel, 
two poles of suitable dimensions are heated, bent 
around the ends for a gunwale, and firmly lashed 
to each knee. Smaller willows are then interwoven, 
so as to model the frame. 

Green or soaked hides are cut into the proper 
shape to fit the frame, and sewed together with 


buckskin strings; tlien the frame of the boat is 
placed in the middle, the hide drawn up snug 
around the sides, and secured with raw-hide thongs 
to the gunwale. The boat is then turned bottom 
upward and left to dry, after which the seams 
where they have been sewed are covered with a 
mixture of melted tallow and pitch : the craft is 
now ready for launching. 

A boat of this kind is very light and serviceable, 
but after a while becomes water-soaked, and should 
always be turned bottom upward to dry whenever 
it is not in the water. Two men can easily build a 
hull -boat of three hides in two days which will 
carry ten men with perfect safety. 

A small party travehng with a pack train and ar- 
riving ujion the banks of a deep stream will not al- 
ways have the time to stop or the means to make 
any of the boats that have been described. Should 
their luggage be such as to become seriously in- 
jured by a wetting, and there be an India-rubber 
or gutta-percha cloth disposable, or if even a green 
beef or buffalo hide can be procured, it may be 
spread out upon the ground, and the articles of bag- 
gage placed in the centre, in a square or rectangu- 
lar form ; the ends and sides are then brought up 
so as entirely to envelop the package, and the whole 
secured with ropes or raw hide. It is then placed 
in the water with a rope attached to one end, and 
towed across by men in the same manner as the 
boats before described. If hides be used they will 


require greasing occasionally, to prevent their be- 
coming water-soaked. 

When a mounted party with pack animals arrive 
upon the borders of a rapid stream, too deep to 
ford, and where the banks are high and abrupt, 
with perhaps but one place where the beasts can 
get out upon the opposite shore, it would not be 
safe to drive or ride them m, calculating that all 
will make the desired landing. Some of them will 
probably be carried by the swift current too far 
down the stream, and thereby endanger not only 
their own Hves, but the lives of their riders. I 
have seen the experiment tried repeatedly, and 
have known several animals to be carried by the 
current below the point of egress, and thus drown- 
ed. Here is a simple, safe, and expeditious method 
of taking animals over such a stream. Suppose, for 
example, a party of mounted men arrive upon the 
bank of the stream. There will always be some 
good swimmers in the party, and probably others 
who can not swim at all. Three or four of the 
most expert of these are selected, and sent across 
with one end of a rope made of lariats tied to- 
gether, while the other end is retained upon the 
first bank, and made fast to the neck of a gentle 
and good swimming horse; after which another 
gentle horse is brought up and made fast by a 
lariat around his neck to the tail of the first, and 
so on until all the horses are thus tied together. 
The men who can not swim are then mounted upon 

,:/ i 

■i ■■ill /I 





,;/''■' 'f''''^. 


tlio best swimming horses and tied on, otherwise 
they are Hable to become frightened, lose their 
balance, and be carried away in a rapid cm-rent ; 
or a horse may stumble and throw his rider. After 
the horses have been strung out in a single line by 
their riders, and every thing is in readiness, the 
first horse is led carefully into the water, while the 
men on the opposite bank, pulling upon the rope, 
thus direct him across, and, if necessary, aid him in 
stemming the current. As soon as this horse strikes 
bottom he pulls upon those behind him, and there- 
by assists them in making the landing, and in tliis 
manner all are j^assed over in perfect safety. 


In travelmg with loose horses across the plains, 
some persons are in the habit of attaching them in 
pairs by their halters to a long, stout rope stretch- 
ed between two wagons drawn by mules, each 
wagon being about half loaded. The principal ob- 
ject of the rear wagon being to hold back and keej) 
the rope stretched, not more than two stout mules 
are required, as the horses aid a good deal with 
their heads in pulling this wagon. From thirty to 
forty horses may be driven very well in this man- 
ner, and, if they are wild, it is perhaps the safest 
method, exce23t that of leading them with halters 
held by men riding beside them. The rope to 
which the horses are attached should be about an 
inch and a quarter in diameter, with loops or rings 


inserted at intervals sufficient to admit the horses 
without allowing them to kick each other, and the 
halter straps tied to these loops. The horses, on 
first starting, should have men by their sides, to 
accustom them to this manner of being led. The 
wagons should be so driven as to keep the rope 
continually stretched. Good drivers must be as- 
signed to these wagons, who will constantly watch 
the movements of the horses attached, as well as 
their own teams. 

I have had 150 loose horses driven by ten mount- 
ed herdsmen. This requires great care for some 
considerable time, until the horses become gentle 
and accustomed to their herders. It is important 
to ascertain, as soon as possible after starting, which 
horses are wild, and may be likely to stampede and 
lead off the herd ; such should be led, and never suf- 
fered to run loose, either on the march or in camp. 
Animals of this character will soon indicate their 
propensities, and can be secured during the first 
days of the march. It is desirable that all animals 
that will not stampede when not working should 
run loose on a march, as they pick up a good deal 
of grass along the road when travelmg, and the 
success of an expedition, when animals get no other 
forage but grass, depends in a great degree upon 
the time given them for grazing. They will thrive 
much better when allowed a free range than when 
picketed, as they then are at liberty to select such 
grass as suits them. It may therefore be set down 


as an infallible rule never to be departed from, tbat 
all animals, excepting such as will be likely to stam- 
pede, should be turned loose for grazing immedi- 
ately after arriving at the camping-place ; but it is 
equally important that they should be carefully 
herded as near the camp as good grass will admit ; 
and those that it is necessary to picket should be 
placed upon the best grass, and their places changed 
often. The ropes to which they are attached should 
be about forty feet long ; the picket-pins, of iron, 
fifteen inches long, with ring and SAvivel at top, so 
that the rope shall not twist as the animal feeds 
around it ; and the pins must be firmly driven into 
tenacious earth. 

Animals should be herded during the day at such 
distances as to leave sufficient grass undisturbed 
around and near the camp for grazing through the 


Among men of limited ex23erience in frontier life 
will be found a great diversity of oj)inion regarding 
the best methods of marching, and of treating ani- 
mals in expeditions upon the prairies. Some will 
make late starts and travel during the heat of the 
day without nooning, while others will start early 
and make two marches, laying by during the mid- 
dle of the day ; some will picket their animals con- 
tinually in camp, while others will herd them day 
and night, etc., etc. For mounted troops, or, indeed, 


for any body of men traveling witli horses and mules, 
a few general rules may be specified which have the 
sanction of mature experience, and a deviation from 
them will inevitably result in consequences highly 
detrimental to the best interests of an expedition. 

In ordmary marches through a country where 
grass and water are abundant and good, animals re- 
ceiving proper attention should not fall away, even 
if they receive no grain ; and, as I said before, they 
should not be made to travel faster than a walk un- 
less absolutely necessary ; neither should they be 
taken off the road for the purpose of hunting or 
chasing buffalo, as one buffalo-chase injures them 
more than a week of moderate riding. In the vi- 
cinity of hostile Indians, the animals must be care- 
fully herded and guarded within protection of the 
camp, while those picketed should be changed as 
often as the grass is eaten off within the circle de- 
scribed by the tether-rope. At night they should 
be brought within the chain of sentinels and pick- 
eted as compactly as is consistent Avith the space 
needed for grazing, and under no circumstances, 
unless the Indians are known to be near and an at- 
tack is to be expected, should they be tied up to a 
picket Hue where they can get no grass. Unless 
allowed to graze at night they will fall away raj^id- 
ly, and soon become unserviceable. It is much bet- 
ter to march after nightfall, turn some distance off 
the road, and to encamp without fires in a depressed 
locality where the Indians can not track the party, 
and the animals may l)c picketed without danger. 

METHOD OF :marciitxg. 93 

In descending abrupt hills and mountains one 
wheel of a loaded wagon should always be locked, 
as this relieves the wheel animals and makes every 
thing more secure. When the declivity is great 
both rear wdieels should be locked, and if very ab- 
ru]3t, requiring great effort on the wheel animals to 
hold the wagon, the wheels should be rough-locked 
by lengthening the lock-chains so that the part 
which goes around the wheels will come directly 
upon the ground, and thus create more friction. 
Occasionally, however, hills are met with so nearly 
perpendicular that it becomes necessary to attach 
ropes to the rear axle, and to station men to hold 
back upon them and steady the vehicle down the 
descent. Rough-locking is a very safe method of 
passing heavy artillery down abrupt declivities. 
There are several mountains between the Missouri 
River and California where it is necessary to resort 
to one of the two last-mentioned methods in order 
to descend with security. If there are no lock-chains 
upon wagons, the front and rear wheels on the same 
side may be tied together with roj)es so as to lock 
them very firmly. 

It is an old and well-established custom among 
men experienced in frontier life always to cross a 
stream upon which it is intended to encamp for the 
night, and this rule should never be departed from 
where a stream is to be forded, as a rise during the 
night might detain the traveler for several days in 
awaiting the fall of the waters. 



In Western Texas, during the autumn and winter 
months, storms arise very suddenly, and, when ac- 
companied by a north wind, are very severe upon 
men and animals ; indeed, they are sometimes so ter- 
rific as to make it necessary for travelers to hasten 
to the nearest sheltered place to save the lives of 
their animals. When these storms come from the 
north, they are called '•^ 7iorthers f and as, during 
the winter season, the temperature often undergoes 
a sudden change of many degrees at the time the 
storm sets in, the perspiration is checked, and the 
system receives an instantaneous shock, against 
which it requires great vital energy to bear up. 
Men and animals are not, in this mild chmate, pre- 
pared for these capricious meteoric revolutions, and 
they not unfrequently perish under their efiects. 

While passing near the head waters of the Colo- 
rado in October, 1849, I left one of my camps at 
an early hour in the morning under a mild and soft 
atmosphere, with a gentle breeze from the south, 
but had marched only a short distance when the 
wind suddenly whipped around into the north, 
bringing with it a furious chilling rain, and in a 
short time the road became so soft and heavy as to 
make the labor of pulling the wagons over it very 
exhausting upon the mules, and they came into 
camp in a profuse sweat, with the rain pouring 
down in torrents upon them. 


They were turned out of harness into the most 
sheltered place that could be found ; but, instead of 
eating, as was their custom, they turned their heads 
from the wind, and remained in that position, chilled 
and trembling, without making the least effort to 
move. The rain continued with unabated fury 
during the entire day and night, and on the follow- 
ing morning thirty-five out of one hundred and ten 
mules had perished, while those remaining could 
hardly be said to have had a spark of vitality left. 
They were drawn up with the cold, and could with 
difiiculty walk. Tents and wagon-covers were cut 
up to protect them, and they were then driven 
about ^or some time, until a little vital energy was 
restored, after which they commenced eating grass, 
but it was three or four days before they recovered 
sufficiently to resume the march. 

The mistake I made was in driving the mules 
after the "norther" commenced. Had I gone im- 
mediately into camp, before they became heated 
and wearied, they would probably have eaten the 
grass, and this, I have no doubt, would have saved 
them; but as it was, their blood became heated 
from overwork, and the sudden chill brought on a 
reaction which proved fatal. If an animal will eat 
his forage plentifully, there is but little danger of 
his perishing with cold. This I assert with much 
confidence, as I once, when traveling with about 
1500 horses and mules, encountered the most ter- 
rific snow-storm that has been known within the 


memory of the oldest mountaineers. It commenced 
on the last day of April, and continued without ces- 
sation for sixty consecutive hours. The day had 
been mild and pleasant ; the green grass was about 
six inches high ; the trees had put out their new 
leaves, and all nature conspired to show that the 
sombre garb of winter had been jpermanently su- 
perseded by the smiling attire of spring. About 
dark, however, the wind turned into the north ; it 
commenced to snow violently, and increased until 
it became a frightful tempest, filhng the atmosphere 
with a dense cloud of driving snow, against which 
it was impossible to ride or walk. Soon after the 
storm set in, one herd of three hundred horses and 
mules broke away from the herdsmen wha were 
around them, and, in spite of all their efforts, ran at 
full speed, directly with the w^md and snow, for 
fifty miles before they stopped. 

Three of the herdsmen followed them as far as 
they were able, but soon became exhausted and lost 
on the prairie. One of them found his way back to 
camp in a state of great prostration and suffering. 
One of the others was found dead, and the third 
crawlhig about upon his hands and knees, after the 
storm ceased. 

It happened, fortunately, that I had reserved a 
quantity of corn to be used in the event of finding 
a scarcity of grass, and as soon as the ground be- 
came covered with snow, so that the animals could 
not get at the grass, I fed out the corn, which I am 


induced to believe saved their lives. Indeed, they 
did not seem to be at all afiected by this prolonged 
and unseasonable tempest. This occurred u]3on the 
summit of the elevated ridge dividing the waters 
of the Arkansas and South Platte Rivers, where 
storms are said to be of frequent occurrence. 

The greater part of the animals that stampeded 
were recovered after the storm, and, although they 
had traveled a hundred miles at a very rapid pace, 
they did not seem to be much affected by it. 



Packing. — Saddles. — Mexican Method. — Madrina, or Bell- 
mare. — Attachment of the Mule illustrated. — Best Method 
of Packing. — Hoppling Animals. — Selecting Horses and 
Mules. — Grama and bunch Grass. — European Saddles. — 
California Saddle. — Saddle Wounds. — Alkali. —Flies.— 
Colic. — Rattlesnake Bites. — Cures for the Bite. 


"With a train of pack animals properly organized 
and equipped, a party may travel with much com- 
fort and celerity. It is enabled to take short cuts, 
and move over the country in almost any direction 
without regard to roads. Mountains and broken 
ground may easily be traversed, and exemption is 
gained from many of the troubles and detentions 
attendant upon the transit of cumbersome wagon- 

One of the most essential requisites to the outfit 
of a pack train is a good pack-saddle. Various pat- 
terns are in use, many of which are mere mstru- 
ments of torture upon the backs of the poor brutes, 
lacerating them cruelly, and causing continued 

The Mexicans use a leathern pack-saddle without 
a tree. It is stuffed with hay, and is very large. 



covering almost the entire back, and extending far 
down the sides. It is secured with a broad hair 
girth, and the load is kept in position by a lash- 
rope drawn by two men so tight as to give the un- 
fortimate beast intense suffering. 

A pack-saddle is made by T. Grimsley, No. 41 
Main Street, St. Louis, Mo. It is open at the top, 
with a light, compact, and strong tree, which fits 
the animal's back well, and is covered with raw 


hide, put on green, and drawn tight by the con- 
traction in drying. It has a leathern breast-strap, 
breeching, and lash-strap, with a broad hair girth 
fastened in the Mexican fashion. Of sixty-five of 
these saddles that I used in crossmg the Rocky 
Mountains, over an exceedingly rough and broken 
section, not one of them woimded a mule's back, 


and I regard them as the best saddles I have ever 

No people, probably, are more familiar with the 
art of packing than the Mexicans. They under- 
stand the habits, disposition, and powers of the 
mule perfectly, and will get more work out of him 
than any other men I have ever seen. TJie mule 
and the donkey are to them as the camel to the 
Ai-ab — their porters over deserts and mountains 
where no other means of transportation can be 
used to advantage. The Spanish Mexicans are, 
however, cruel masters, having no mercy upon their 
beasts, and it is no uncommon thing for them to 
load their mules with the enormous burden of three 
or four hundred pomids. 

These muleteers believe that, when the pack is 
firmly lashed, the animal suj^ports his burden better 
and travels with greater ease, which seems quite 
probable, as the tension forms, as it were, an ex- 
ternal sheath supporting and bracing the muscles. 
It also has a tendency to prevent the saddle from 
slipping and chafing the mule's back. With such 
huge cargas as the Mexicans load upon their mules, 
it IS impossible, by any precautions, to prevent their 
backs and withers from becoming horribly mangled, 
and it is common to see them working their animals 
day after day in this miserable plight. This heavy 
packing causes the scars that so often mark Mexi- 
can mules. 

The animal, in startmg out from camp in the 


morning, groaning under the weight of his heavy 
burden, seems hardly able to move ; but the pack 
soon settles, and so loosens the lashing that after a 
short time he moves along with more ease. Con- 
stant care and vigilance on the part of the mule- 
teers are necessary to prevent the packs from work- 
ing loose and falling oif. The adjustment of a car- 
ga upon a mule does not, however, detain the cara- 
van, as the others move on while it is being righted. 
If the mules are suffered to halt, they are apt to lie 
down, and it is very difficult for them, with their 
loads, to rise; besides, they are likely to strain 
themselves in their efforts to do so. The Mexicans, 
in traveling with large caravans, usually make the 
day's march without nooning, as too much time 
would be consumed in unloading and packing up 

Packs, when taken off in camp, should be piled 
in a row upon the ground, and, if there be a pros- 
pect of rain, the saddles should be placed over them, 
and the whole covered with the saddle-blankets or 

The muleteers and herders should be mounted 
upon well-trained horses, and be careful to keep the 
animals of the caravan from wandering or scatter- 
ing along the road. This can easily be done by 
having some of the men riding upon each side, and 
others in rear of the caravan. 

In herding mules it is customary among prairie 
travelers to have a bell-mare, to which the mules 


soon become so attached that they will follow her 
wherever she goes. By keeping her in charge of 
one of the herdsmen, the herds are easily controlled; 
and durmg a stampede, if the herdsman mounts her, 
and rushes ahead toward camp, they will generally 

In crossing rivers the bell-mare should pass first, 
after which the mules are easily induced to take to 
the water and pass over, even if they have to swim. 
Mules are good swimmers unless they happen, by 
plunging off a high bank, to get water in their ears, 
when they are often droT;vTied. Whenever a mule 
in the water drops his ears, it is a sure indication 
that he has water in them, and he should be taken 
out as soon as possible. To prevent accidents of 
this nature, where the water is deep and the banks 
abrupt, the mule herds should be allowed to enter 
slowly, and without crowding, as otherwise they 
are not only hkely to get their heads under water, 
but to throw each other over and get injured. 

The tnadrma^ or bell-mare, acts a most import- 
ant part in a herd of mules, and is regarded by ex- 
perienced campaigners as indispensable to their se- 
curity. She is selected for her quiet and regular 
habits. She will not wander far from the camp. If 
she happen to have a colt by her side, this is no ob- 
jection, as the mules soon form the most devoted 
attachment to it. I have often seen them leave 
their grazing when very lumgry, and flock around 
a small colt, manifesting their delight by rubbing it 


with their noses, licking it with their tongues, kick- 
ing up their heels, and making a variety of other 
grotesque demonstrations of affection, while the 
poor little colt, perfectly unconscious of the cause 
of these ungainly caresses, stood trembling with fear, 
but unable to make his escape from the compact 
ch'cle of his muhsh admirers. Horses and asses are 
also used as bell animals, and the mules soon become 
accustomed to following them. If a man leads or 
rides a bell animal in advance, the mules follow, like 
so many dogs, in the most orderly procession. 

" After traveling about fourteen miles," says Bay- 
ard Taylor, " we were joined by three miners, and 
our mules, taking a sudden liking for their horses, 
jogged on at a more brisk pace. The instincts of 
the mulish heart form an interesting study to the 
traveler in the mountains. I would (were the com- 
parison not too ungallant) liken it to a woman's, for 
it is quite as uncertain in its sympathies, bestowing 
its affections when least expected, and, when be- 
stowed, quite as constant, so long as the object is 
not taken away. Sometimes a horse, sometimes 
an ass, captivates the fancy of a whole drove of 
mules, but often an animal nowise akin. Lieutenant 
Beale told me that his whole train of mules once 
galloped off suddenly, on the plains of the Cima- 
rone, and ran half a mile, when they halted in ap- 
parent satisfaction. The cause of their freak was 
found to be a buffalo calf which had strayed from 
the herd. They were frisking around it in the great- 


est delight, rubbing tlieir noses against it, throwing 
lip their heels, and making themselves ridiculous by 
abortive attempts to neigh and bray, while the calf, 
imconscious of its attractive qualities, stood trem- 
bling in their midst." 

" If several large troops," says Charles Darwin, 
" are turned into one field to graze in the morning, 
the muleteer has only to lead the madrinas a little 
apart and tinkle their bells, and, although there 
may be 200 or 300 mules together, each immedi- 
ately knows its own bell, and separates itself from 
the rest. The affection of these animals for their 
madrina saves infinite trouble. It is nearly impos- 
sible to lose an old mule, for, if detained several 
hours by force, she will, by the power of smell, 
like a dog, track out her companions, or rather the 
madrina ; .for, according to the muleteer, she is the 
chief object of afiection. The feeling, however, is 
not of an individual nature, for I beheve I am right 
in saying that any animal with a beU will serve as a 

Of the attachment that a mule will form for a 
horse, I will cite an instance from my own observa- 
tion, which struck me at the time as being one of 
the most remarkable and touching evidences of de- 
votion that I have ever known among the brute 

On leaving Fort Leavenworth with the army for 
Utah in 1857, one of the officers rode a small mule, 
whose kind and gentle disposition soon caused him 


to become a favorite among the soldiers, and they 
named him "Billy." As this officer and myself 
were often thrown together upon the march, the 
mule, in the course of a few days, evinced a grow- 
ing attachment for a mare that I rode. The senti- 
ment was not, however, reciprocated on her j^art, 
and she intimated as much by the reversed position 
of her ears, and the free exercise of her feet and 
teeth whenever Billy came within her reach ; but 
these signal marks of displeasure, instead of dis- 
couraging, rather seemed to increase his devotion, 
and whenever at liberty he invariably sought to 
get near her, and appeared much distressed when 
not permitted to follow her. 

On leaving Camp Scott for ISTew Mexico Billy 
was among the number of mules selected for the 
expedition. During the march I was in the habit, 
when starting out from camp in the morning, of 
leading oif the party, and directmg the packmen to 
hold the mule until I should get so far in advance 
with the mare that he could not see us ; but the 
moment he was released he would, m spite of all 
the efforts of the packers, start off at a most furi- 
ous pace, and never stop or cease braying until he 
reached the mare's side. We soon found it impos- 
sible to keep him with the other mules, and he was 
finally permitted to have his own way. 

In the course of time we encountered the deep 
snows in the Rocky Mountains, where the animals 
could get no forage, and Billy, in common with 


the others, at length became so weak and jaded 
that he was unable any longer to leave his place in 
the caravan and break a track through the snow 
around to the front. He made frequent attempts 
to turn out and force his way ahead, but after nu- 
merous unsuccessful efforts he would fall down ex- 
hausted, and set up a most mournful braying. 

The other mules soon began to fail, and to be left, 
worn out and famished, to die by the wayside ; it 
was not, however, for some time that Billy showed 
symptoms of becoming one of the victims, until one 
evening after our arrival at camp I was informed 
that he had dropped down and been left upon the 
road during the day. The men all deplored his loss 
exceedingly, as his devotion to the mare had touch- 
ed their kind hearts, and many expressions of sym- 
pathy were uttered around their bivouac fii'es on 
that evenmg. 

Much to our surprise, however, about ten o'clock, 
just as we were about going to sleep, we heard a 
mule braying about half a mile to the rear upon our 
trail. Sure enough, it proved to be Billy, who, 
after having rested, had followed upon our track 
and overtaken us. As soon as he reached the side 
of the mare he lay down and seemed perfectly con- 

The next day I relieved him from his pack, and 
allowed him to run loose ; but during the march he 
gave out, and was again abandoned to his fate, and 
this time we certainly never expected to see liini 


more. To our great astonishment, however, about 
twelve o'clock that night the sonorous but not very 
musical notes of Billy in the distance aroused us 
from our slumbers, and again announced his ap- 
proach. In an instant the men were upon their 
feet, gave three hearty cheers, and rushed out in a 
body to meet and escort him into camp. 

But this well-meant ovation elicited no response 
from him. He came reeling and floundering along 
through the deep snow, perfectly regardless of these 
honors, pushing aside all those who occupied the 
trail or interrupted his progress in the least, wan- 
dered about until he found the mare, dropped down 
by her side, and remained until morning. 

When we resumed our march on the following 
day he made another desperate effort to proceed, 
but soon fell down exhausted, when we reluctantly 
abandoned him, and saw him no more. 

Alas ! poor Billy ! your constancy deserved a 
better fate ; you may, mdeed, be said to have been 
a victim to imrequited affection. 

The articles to be transported should be made up 
into two packages of precisely equal weight, and as 
nearly equal in bulk as practicable, otherwise they 
will sway the saddle over to one side, and cause it 
to chafe the animal's back. 

The packages made, two ropes about six feet 
long are fastened around the ends by a slij^-knot, 
and if the packages contain corn or other articles 
that will shift al)out, small sticks shoiihl be plnced 


between the sacks and the ropes, which equalizes 
the pressure and keeps the packages snug. The 
ropes are then looped at the ends, and made pre- 
cisely of the same length, so that the packs will 
balance and come up well toward the top of the 
saddle. Two men then, each taking a pack, go 
upon opposite sides of the mule, that has been pre- 
viously saddled, and, raising the packs sumiltaneous- 
ly, place the loops over the pommel and cantel, set- 
tling them well down into their places. The lash- 
ing-strap is then thrown over the top, brought 
through the rings upon each side, and drawn as 
tight at every turn as the two men on the sides can 
pull it, and, after having been carried back and 
forth diagonally across the packs as often as its 
length admits (generally three or four times), it is 
made fast to one of the rings, and securely tied in 
a slip-knot. 

The breast-strap and breeching must not be buck- 
led so close as to chafe the skin ; the girth should 
be broad and soft where it comes opposite the fore 
legs, to prevent cutting them. Leather girths 
should be wrapped with cloth or bound with soft 
material. The hair girth, being soft and elastic, is 
much better than leather. 

The crupper should never be dispensed with in a 
mountainous country, but it must be soft, round, 
and about an inch in diameter where it comes in 
contact mth the tail, otherwise it will wound the 
animal in making long and abrupt descents. 


In Norway they use a short round stick, about 
ten inches long, which j^asses under the tail, and 
from each end of this a cord connects with the 

Camp-kettles, tin vessels, and other articles that 
will rattle and be Hkely to frighten animals, should 
be firmly lashed to the packs. When the packs 
work loose, the lash-strap should be untied, and a 
man upon each side draw it up again and make it 
fast. When ropes are used for lashing, they may be 
tightened by twisting them with a short stick and 
making the stick fast. 

One hundred and twenty-five pounds is a suffi- 
cient load for a mule upon a long journey. 

In traveling over a rocky country, and upon all 
long journeys, horses and mules should be shod, to 
prevent their hoofs wearing out or breaking. The 
mountaineers contend that beasts travel better with- 
out shoeing, but I have several times had occasion 
to regret the omission of this very necessary pre- 
caution. A few extra shoes and nails, with a small 
hammer, will enable travelers to keep then* animals 

In turning out pack animals to graze, it is weU 
either to keep the lariat ropes upon them with the 
ends trailing upon the ground, or to hopple them, 
as no corral can be made into which they may be 
driven in order to catch them. A very good way 
to catch an animal without drivinoj him into an m- 
closure is for two men to take a long rope and stretch 


it out at the height of the animal's neck ; some men 
then drive him slowly up against it, when one of the 
men with the rope runs around behind the animal 
and back to the front again, thus taking a turn with 
the rope around his neck and holding him secure. 

To prevent an animal from kicking, take a forked 
stick and make the forked part fast to the bridle- 
bit, bringing the two ends above the head and se- 
curing them there, leaving the part of the stick be- 
low the fork of sufficient length to reach near the 
ground when the animal's head is in its natural po- 
sition. He can not kick up unless he lowers his 
head, and the stick effectually prevents that. 

Tether-ropes should be so attached to the neck 
of the animal as not to slip and choke him, and the 
picket-pins never be left on the ropes except Avhen 
in the ground, as, in the event of a stampede, they 
are very hkely to swing around and injure the an- 

Many experienced travelers were formerly in the 
habit of securing their animals with a strap or iron 
ring fastened around the fetlock of one fore foot, 
and this attached to the tether-rope. This method 
holds the animal very securely to the picket-pin, but 
when the rope is first put on, and before he becomes 
accustomed to it, he is liable to throw himself down 
and get hurt ; so that I think the -plsm of tethering 
by the neck or halter is the safest, and, so far as I 
have observed, is now universally practiced. 

The mountameers and Indians seldom tether their 


animals, but prefer the plan of hoppling, as this gives 
them more latitude for ranging and selectmg the 
choicest grass. 

Two methods of hoppling are practiced among 
the Indians and hunters of the West : one with a 
strap about two feet long buckling around the fore 
legs above the fetlock joints ; the other is what they 
term the " side liopple^^ which is made by buckhng 
a strap around a front and rear leg upon the same 
side. In both cases care should be taken not to 
buckle the strap so tight as to chafe the legs. The 
latter plan is the best, because the animal, side- 
hoppled, is able to go but little faster than a walk, 
while the front hopple permits him, after a little 
practice, to gallop off at considerable speed. If the 
hopples are made of iron connected with chains, 
like handcuffs, with locks and keys, it will be im- 
possible for the Indians, without files, to cut them ; 
but the parts that come in contact with the legs 
should be covered with soft leather. 

" A horse," says Mr. Galton, " may be hoppled 
with a stirrup-leather by placing the middle around 
one leg, then twisting it several times and buckling 
it round the other leg. When you wish to picket 
horses in the middle of a sandy plain, dig a hole 
two or three feet deep, and, tying your rope to a 
fagot of sticks or brushwood, or even to a bag 
filled with sand, bury this m it." 

For prairie service, horses which have been raised 
exclusively upon grass, and never been fed on grain, 


or " range liorses^'' as they are called in the "West, 
are decidedly the best, and will perform more hard 
labor than those that have been stabled and groom- 
ed. The large, stout ponies found among some of 
our frontier settlements are well adapted to this 
service, and endure admirably. The same remarks 
hold good in the choice of mules; and it will be 
found that the square-built, big-bellied, and short- 
legged Mexican mule will endure far more hard 
service, on short allowance of forage, than the 
larger American mule which has been accustomed 
to grain. 

In our trip across the Rocky Mountains we had 
both the American and Mexican mules, and im- 
proved a good opportunity of giving their relative 
powers of endurance a thorough service-trial. For 
many days they were reduced to a meagre allow- 
ance of dry grass, and at length got nothing but 
pine leaves, while their work in the deep snow was 
exceedingly severe. This soon told upon the Amer- 
ican mules, and all of them, with the exception of 
two, died, while most of the Mexican mules went 
through. The result was perfectly conclusive. 

We found that, where the snow was not more 
than two feet deep, the animals soon learned to paw 
it away and get at the grass. Of course they do 
not get sufficient in this way, but they do much 
better than one would suppose. 

In Utah and New Mexico the autumn is so dry 
that the grass does not lose its nutritious properties 


by being washed with rains. It gradually dries 
and cures like hay, so that animals eat it freely, 
and will fatten upon it even in mid-winter. It is 
seldom that any gram is fed to stock in either of 
these territories. 

Several of the varieties of grass growing upon 
the slopes of the Rocky Mountains are of excel- 
lent quality; among these may be mentioned the 
Gramma and bunch grasses. Horses and mules 
turned out to graze always prefer the grass upon 
the mountain sides to grass of the valleys. 

We left New Mexico about the first of March, six 
weeks before the new grass appeared, with 1500 
animals, many of them low in flesh, yet they im- 
proved upon the journey, and on their arrival in 
Utah were all, with very few exceptions, in fine 
working condition. Had this march been made at 
the same season in the country bordering upon the 
Missouri River, where there are heavy autumnal 
rains, the animals would probably have become 
very poor. 

In this journey the herds were allowed to range 
over the best grass that could be found, but were 
guarded both night and day with great care, where- 
as, if they had been corraled or picketed at night, I 
dare say they would have lost flesh.* 

* Some curious and interesting experiments are said to have 

been recently made at the veterinary school at Alfort, near 

Paris, by order of the minister of war, to ascertain the powers 

of endurance of horses. It appears that a horse will live on 




Great diversity of opinion exists regarding the 
best equipment for horses, and the long-mooted 
question is as yet very far from being definitely 

I do not regard the opinions of Europeans as 
having a more direct bearing upon this question, or 
as tending to estabhsh any more definite and posi- 
tive conclusions regarding it than have been devel- 
oped by the experience of our own border citizens, 
the major part of whose lives has been spent in the 
saddle ; yet I am confident that the following brief 
description of the horse equipments used in dififer- 
ent parts of Europe, the substance of which I have 
extracted from Captain M'Clellan's interesting re- 
port, will be read with interest and instruction. 

The saddle used by the African chasseurs consists 
of a plain wooden tree, with a pad upon the top, but 
without skirts, and is somewhat similar to our own 
military saddle, but lower in the pommel and cantle. 

water alone five-and-twenty days ; seventeen days without 
eating or drinking ; only five days if fed and unwatered ; ten 
days if fed and insufficiently watered. A horse kept without 
water for three days drank one hundred and four pounds of 
water in three minutes. It was found that a horse taken im- 
mediately after "feed," and kept in the active exercise of the 
"squadron school," completely digested its "feed" in three 
hoiu's; in the same time in the "conscript's school" its food 
was two thirds digested ; and if kept perfectly quiet in the 
stable, its digestion was scarcely commenced in tJiree hours. 


The girth and surcingle are of leather, with an or- 
dinary woolen saddle-blanket. Their bridle has a 
single head-stall, with the Spanish bit buckled to it. 

A new saddle has recently been introduced into 
the French service by Captain Cogent, the tree of 
which is cut out of a single piece of wood, the can- 
tie only being glued on, and a piece of walnut let 
into the pommel, with a thin strip veneered upon 
the front ends of the bars. The pommel and cantle 
are lower than in the old model ; the Avhole is cov- 
ered with w^et raw hide, glued on and sewed at the 
edges. The great advantage this saddle possesses 
is in being so arranged that it may be used for 
horses of all sizes and conditions. The saddle-blank- 
et is made of thick felt cloth, and is attached to the 
pommel by a small strap passing through holes in 
the blanket, which is thus prevented from slipping, 
and at the same time it raises the saddle so as to 
admit a free circulation of air over the horse's spine. 

The Hungarian saddle is made of hard wood en- 
tirely uncovered, with a raised pommel and cantle. 
The seat is formed with a leather strap four inches 
wide nailed to the forks on the front and rear, and 
secured to the side-boards by leather thongs, thus 
giving an elastic and easy saddle-seat. This is also 
the form of the saddle-tree used by the Russian and 
Austrian cavalry. The Russians have a leather girth 
fastened by three small buckles : it passes over the 
tree, and is tied to the side-boards. The saddle- 
bkmket is of stout felt cloth in four thicknesses, and 


a layer of black leather over it, and the whole held 
together by leather thongs passmg through and 
through. When the horse falls off in flesh, more 
thicknesses are added, and " vice versaP This sad- 
dle-blanket is regarded by the Kussian oflicers as 
the best possible arrangement. The Russians use 
the curb and snaffle-bits made of steel. 

The Cossack saddle has a thick padding under the 
side-boards and on the seat, which raises the rider 
very high on his horse, so that his feet are above 
the bottom of the belly. Their bridle has but a 
simple snaffle-bit, and no martingale. 

The Prussian cuirassiers have a heavy saddle with 
a low pommel and cantle, covered with leather, but 
it is not thought by Captain M'Clellan to present 
any thing worthy of imitation. 

The other Prussian cavalry ride the Hungarian 
saddle, of a heaAder model than the one in the Aus- 
trian service. The surcmgle is of leather, and fast- 
ens in the Mexican style; the girth is also of leather, 
three and a half inches wide, with a large buckle. 
It is in two parts, attached to the bars by raw-hide 
thongs. The curb and snaffle steel bits are used, 
and attached to a single head-stall. 

The English cavalry use a saddle which has a low- 
er cantle and pommel than our Grimsley saddle, 
covered with leather. The snaffle-bit is attached to 
the halter head-stall by a chain and T ; the curb has 
a separate head-stall, which on a march is occasion- 
ally taken off and hung on the carbine stock. 


The Sardinian saddle has a bare wooden tree 
very similar to the Hungarian. A common blanket, 
folded in twelve thicknesses, is placed under it. 
The girth and surcingle are of leather. 

Without expressing any opinion as to the com- 
parative merits of these different saddles, I may be 
permitted to give a few general principles, which I 
regard as infallible in the choice of a saddle. 

The side-boards should be large, and made to con- 
form to the shape of the horse's back, thereby dis- 
tributing the burden over a large surface. It should 
stand up well above the spine, so as to admit a free 
circulation of air under it. 

For long journeys, the crupper, where it comes in 
contact with the tail, should be made of soft leather. 
It should be drawn back only far enough to hold 
the saddle from the withers. Some horses require 
much more tension upon the crupper than others. 
The girth should be made broad, of a soft and elas- 
tic material. JThose made of hair, in use among the 
Mexicans, fulfill the precited conditions. 

A light and easy bit, which will not fret or chafe 
the horse, is recommended.'' 

The saddle-blanket must be folded even and 
smooth, and placed on so as to cover every j^art of 
the back that comes in contact with the saddle, 
and in warm weather it is well to place a gunny 
bag under the blanket, as it is cooler than the avooI. 

It will have been observed that, in the French 
service, the folded saddle-blanket is tied to the 


pommel to prevent it slipping back. This is well 
if the blanket be taken oif and thoroughly dried 
whenever the horse is unsaddled. 

A saddle-blanket made of moss is used in some 
of the Southwestern States, which is regarded by- 
many as the perfection of this article of horse equip- 
ment. It is a mat woven into the proper shape 
and size from the beaten fibres of moss that hangs 
from the trees in our Southern States. It is cheap, 
durable, is not in any way affected by sweat, and 
does not chafe or heat the horse's spine like the 
woolen blanket. Its open texture allows a rapid 
evaporation, which tends to keep the back cool, 
and obviates the danger of stripping and sudden 
exposure of the heated parts to the sun and air. 

The experience of some of our officers who have 
used this mat for years in Mexico and Texas cor- 
roborates all I have said in its favor ; and they are 
unanimous in the opinion that a horse will never get 
a sore back when it is placed under a good saddle. 

A saddle made by the Mexicans in California is 
called the California saddle. This is extensively 
used upon the Pacific slope of the mountains, and 
is believed to possess, at least, as many advantages 
for rough frontier service as any other pattern that 
has been mvented. Those hardy and experienced 
veterans, the mountaineers, could not be persuaded 
to ride any other saddle, and their ripened knowl- 
edge of such matters certainly gives weight to their 



The merits of the California saddle consist in its 
being light, strong, and compact, and conforming 
well to the shape of the horse. When strapped on, 
it rests so firmly in position that the strongest pull 
of a horse upon a lariat attached to the pommel can 


not displace it. Its shape is such that the rider is 
compelled to sit nearly erect, with his legs on the 
continuation of the line of the body, which makes 
his seat more secure, and, at the same time, gives 
him a better control over his arms and horse. This 


position is attained by setting the stirup-leathers 
farther back than on the old-fashioned saddle. The 
pommel is high, like the Mexican saddle, and pre- 
vents the rider from being thrown forward. The 
tree is covered with raw hide, put on green, and 
sewed; when this dries and contracts it gives it 
great strength. It has no iron in its composition, 
but is kept together by buckskin strings, and can 
easily be taken to pieces for mending or cleaning. 
It has a hair girth about five inches wide. 

The whole saddle is covered with a large and 
thick sheet of sole-leather, having a hole to lay over 
the pommel ; it extends back over the horse's hips, 
and protects them from rain, and when taken off in 
camp it furnishes a good security against dampness 
when placed under the traveler's bed. 

The California saddle-tree is regarded by many 
as the best of all others for the horse's back, and as 
having an easier seat than the Mexican. 

General Comte de la Roche- Aymon, in his treat- 
ise upon "Light Troops," published in Paris in 
1856, says: 

"In nearly all the European armies the equip- 
ment of the horse is not in harmony with the new 
tactics — with those tactics in which, during nearly 
all of a campaign, the cavalry remains in bivouac. 
Have we reflected upon the kind of saddle which, 
under these circumstances, would cover the horse 
best without incommoding him during the short 
periods that he is permitted to repose ? Have we 


reflected upon the kind of saddle which, offering 
the least fragility, exposes the horse to the least 
danger of sore back? All the cuirassiers and the 
dragoons of Europe have saddles which they call 
Fixnch saddle^ the weight of which is a load for 
the horse. The interior mechanism of these sad- 
dles is complicated and filled with weak bands of 
iron, which become deranged, bend, and sometimes 
break ; the rider does not perceive these accidents, 
or he does not wish to perceive them, for fear of 
being left behind or of having to go on foot ; he 
continues on, and at the end of a day's march his 
horse has a sore back, and in a few days is absolute- 
ly unserviceable. We may satisfy ourselves of the 
truth of these observations by comparing the lists 
of horses sent to the rear during the course of a 
campaign by the cuirassiers and dragoons who use 
the French saddle, and by the hussars with the 
Hungarian saddle. The number sent to the rear by 
the latter is infinitely less, although employed in a 
service much more active and severe ; and it niight 
be still less by making some slight improvements 
in the manner of fixing their saddle upon the horse. 
" It is a long time since Marshal Saxe said there 
was but one kind of saddle fit for cavalry, which 
was the hussar saddle : this combined all advant- 
ages, lightness, solidity, and economy. It is as- 
tonishing that the system of actual war had not led 
to the employment of the kmd of saddle in use 
among the Tartars, the Cossacks, the Himgarians, 


and, indeed, among all horsemen and nomads. 
This saddle has the incontestable advantage of per- 
mitting the horse to lie down and rest himself with- 
out inconvenience. If, notwithstanding the folded 
blanket which they place under the Hungarian sad- 
dle, this saddle will still wound the animal's back 
sometimes, this only proceeds from the friction oc- 
casioned by the motion of the horse and the move- 
ment of the rider upon the saddle ; a friction which 
it will be nearly impossible to avoid, inasmuch as 
the saddle-bow is held in its place only by a surcin- 
gle, the ends of which are united by a leathern 
band : these bands always relax more or less, and 
the saddle becomes loose. To remedy this, I pro- 
pose to attach to the saddle-bow itself a double 
girth, one end of which shall be made fast to the 
arch in front, and the other end to the rear of the 
arch upon the right side, to unite in a single girth, 
which would buckle to a strap attached upon the 
left side in the usual manner. This buckle will 
hold' the saddle firmly in its place. 

" [N'otwithstanding all these precautions, however, 
there were still some inconveniences resulting from 
the nature of the blanket placed under the saddle, 
which I sought to remedy, and I easily accomplish- 
ed it. The woolen nap of the cavalry saddle-blank- 
ets, not being carefully attended to, soon wears oif, 
and leaves only the rough, coarse threads of the 
fabric ; this absorbs the sweat from the horse, and, 
after it has dried and become hard, it acts like a 


rasp upon the withers, first takmg off the hair, next 
the skin, and then the flesh, and, finally, the beast 
is rendered unserviceable. 

" I sought, during the campaign of 1807, a means 
to remedy this evil, and I soon succeeded by a pro- 
cess as simple as it was cheap. I distributed among 
a great number of cavalry soldiers pieces of linen 
cloth folded double, two feet square, and previously 
dipped in melted tallow. This cloth was laid next 
to the horse's back, under the saddle-blanket, and 
it prevented all the bad effects of the woolen blank- 
et. 'No horses, after this appliance, were afflicted 
with sore backs. Such are the slight changes which 
I beheve should be made in the use of the Hunga- 
rian saddle. The remainder of the equipment should 
remain (as it always has been) composed of a breast- 
strap, crupper, and martingale, etc." 

The improvements of the present age do not ap- 
pear to have developed any thing advantageous to 
the saddle; on the contrary, after exi^erimenting 
upon numerous modifications and inventions, public 
sentiment has at length given the preference to the 
saddle-tree of the natives in Asia and America, 
which is very similar to that of the Hungarians. 

If a horse be sweating at the time he is imsad- 
dled, it is well to strap the folded saddle-blanket 
upon his back with the surcingle, where it is allow- 
ed to remain until he is perfectly dry. This causes 


the back to cool gradually, and prevents scalding or 
swelling. Some persons are in the habit of washing 
their horses' backs while heated and sweatmg with 
cold water, but this is pernicious, and often pro- 
duces sores. It is well enough to wash the back 
after it cools, but not before. After horses' backs 
or shoulders once become chafed and sore, it is very- 
difficult to heal them, particularly when they are 
continued at work. It is better, if practicable, to 
stop using them for a while, and wash the bruised 
parts often with castile soap and water. Should it 
be necessary, however, to continue the animal in 
use, I have known very severe sores entirely healed 
by the free application of grease to the parts imme- 
diately after halting, and while the animal is warm 
and sweating. This seems to harden the skin and 
heal the wound even when working with the collar 
in contact with it. A piece of bacon rind tied 
upon the collar over the wound is also an excellent 

In Texas, when the horse -files are numerous, 
they attack animals without mercy, and where a 
contusion is found in the skin they deposit eggs, 
which speedily produce worms in great numbers. 
I have tried the effisct of spirits of turpentine and 
several other remedies, but nothing seemed to have 
the desired efiect but calomel blown into the wound, 
which destroyed the worms and soon eiffected a 

In the vicinity of the South Pass, upon the Hum- 


boldt River, and in some sections upon other routes 
to California, alkaline water is found, which is very 
poisonous to animals that drink it, and generates a 
disease known in California as " alkali.^'' This dis- 
ease first makes its appearance by swelhngs upon 
the abdomen and between the fore legs, and is at- 
tended w^ith a cough, which ultimately destroys the 
lungs and kills the animal. If taken at an early 
stage, this disease is curable, and the following 
treatment is generally considered as the most effi- 
cacious. The animal is first raked, after which a 
large dose of grease is j^oured down its throat; 
acids are said to have the same efiect, and give im- 
mediate relief. When neither of these remedies can 
be procured, many of the emigrants have been in 
the habit of mixing starch or flour in a bucket of 
water, and allowing the animal to drink it. It is 
supposed that this forms a coating over the mucous 
membrane, and thus defeats the action of the poison. 

Animals should never be allowed to graze in the 
vicmity of alkaline water, as the deposits upon the 
grass after floods are equally deleterious with the 
water itself. 

In seasons when the water is low in the Hum- 
boldt River, there is much less danger of the alkali, 
as the running water in the river then comes from 
pure mountain springs, and is confined to the chan- 
nel; whereas, during high water, when the banks 
are overflowed, the salts are dissolved, making the 
water more impure. 


For colic^ a good remedy is a mixture of two 
table-spoonfuls of brandy and two tea-spoonfuls of 
laudanum dissolved in a bottle of water and poured 
down the animal's throat. Another remedy, which 
has been recommended to me by an experienced 
officer as producing speedy relief, is a table-spoon- 
ful of chloride of lime dissolved in a bottle of water, 
and administered as in the other case. 


Upon the southern routes to California rattle- 
snakes are often met with, but it is seldom that any 
person is bitten by them ; yet this is a possible con- 
tingency, and it can never be amiss to have an an- 
tidote at hand. 

Hartshorn applied externally to the wound, and 
drunk in small quantities diluted with water wdien- 
ever the patient becomes faint or exhausted from 
the effects of the poison, is one of the most common 

In the absence of all medicines, a string or liga- 
ture should at once be bound firmly above the 
puncture, then scarify deeply with a knife, suck out 
the poison, and spit out the saliva. 

Andersson, in his book on Southwestern Africa, 
says : " In the Cape Colony the Dutch farmers re- 
sort to a cruel but apparently effective plan to coun- 
teract the bad effects of a serpent's bite. An in- 
cision having been made in the breast of a living 
fowl, the bitten part is applied to the wound. li' 


the poison be very deadly, the bh'd soon evinces 
symptoms of distress, becomes drowsy, droops its 
head, and dies. It is replaced by a second, a third, 
and more if requisite. "When, however, the bird 
no longer exhibits any of the signs just mentioned, 
the patient is considered out of danger. A frog 
similarly applied is supposed to be equally effica- 

Haunberg, in his Travels in South Africa, men- 
tions an antidote against the bite of serpents. He 
says : " The blood of the turtle was much cried up, 
which, on account of this extraordinary virtue, the 
inhabitants dry in the form of small scales or mem- 
branes, and carry about them when they travel in 
this country, wliich swarms with this most noxious 
vermin. Whenever any one is wounded by a ser- 
pent, he takes a couple of pinches of the dried 
blood internally, and ajDplies a little of it to the 

I was present upon one occasion when an Indian 
child was struck in the fore finger by a large rattle- 
snake. His mother, who was near at the time, 
seized him in her arms, and, placing the wounded 
finger in her mouth, sucked the poison from the 
puncture for some minutes, repeatedly spitting out 
the saliva ; after which she chewed and mashed 
some plantain leaves and apphed to the wound. 
Over this she sprinkled some finely-powdered to- 
bacco, and wrapped the finger up in a rag. I did 
not observe that the child sufiered afterward the 


least pain or inconvenience. The immediate appli- 
cation of the remedies probably saved his Hfe. 

Irritation from the bite of gnats and musquitoes, 
etc., may be relieved by chewing the plantain, and 
rubbing the spittle on the bite. 

I knew of another instance near Fort Towson, in 
Northern Texas, where a small child was left upon 
the earthen floor of a cabin while its mother was 
washing at a spring near by. She heard a cry of 
distress, and, on going to the cabin, what was her 
horror on seemg a rattlesnake coiled around the 
child's arm, and striking it repeatedly with its fangs. 
After killing the snake, she hurried to her nearest 
neighbor, procured a bottle of brandy, and returned 
as soon as possible ; but the poison had already so 
operated upon the arm that it was as black as a 
negro's. She poured down the child's throat a 
huge draught of the hquor, w hich soon took efiect, 
making it very drunk, and stopped the action of the 
poison. Although the child was relieved, it remain- 
ed sick for a long time, but ultimately recovered. 

A man was struck in the leg by a very large rat- 
tlesnake near Fort Belknap, Texas, in 1853. 'No 
other remedy being at hand, a small piece of indigo 
was pulverized, made into a poultice with water, 
and applied to the jDuncture. It seemed to draw 
out the poison, turning the indigo white, after 
which it was removed and another poultice applied. 
These applications were re2:)eated until the indigo 
ceased to change its color. The man was then car- 


ried to the hospital at Fort Belknap, and soon re- 
covered, and the surgeon of the post pronounced it 
a very satisfactory cure. 

A Chickasaw woman, who was bitten upon the 
foot near Fort Washita by a ground rattlesnake (a 
very venomous species), drank a bottle of whisky 
and applied the indigo poultice, and when I saw 
her, three days afterward, she was recovering, but 
the flesh around the wound sloughed away. 

A Delaware remedy, which is said to be effica- 
cious, is to burn powder upon the wound, but I 
have never known it to be tried excepting upon a 
horse. In this case it was successful, or, at aU 
events, the animal recovered. 

Of all the remedies known to me, I should de- 
cidedly prefer ardent spirits. It is considered a 
sovereign antidote among our "Western frontier set- 
tlers, and I would make use. of it -with great confi- 
dence. It must be taken mitil the patient becomes 
very much intoxicated, and this requires a large 
quantity, as the action of the poison seems to coun- 
teract its effects. 

Should the fangs of the snake penetrate deep 
enough to reach an artery, it is probable the person 
would die in a short time. I imaguie, however, 
that this does not often occur. 

The following remedial measures for the treat- 
ment of the bites of poisonous rei3tiles are recom- 
mended by Dr. PhiUp Weston in the London Lan- 
cet for July, 1859: 



1. The application of a ligature round tlie limb 
close to the wound, between it and the heart, to 
arrest the return of venous blood. 

2. Excision of the bitten parts, or free incision 
through the wounds made by the poison-teeth, sub- 
sequently encouraging the bleeding by warm solu- 
tions to favor the escape of the poison from the 

3. Cauterization widely round the limb of the 
bite with a strong solution of nitrate of silver, one 
drachm to the ounce, to prevent the mtroduction 
of the poison into the system by the lymphatics. 

4. As soon as indications of the absorption of the 
poison into the circulation begin to manifest them- 
selves, the internal administration of ammonia in 
aerated or soda-water every quarter of an hour, to 
support the nervous energy and allay the distress- 
ing thirst. 

" But," he continues, " there is yet wanting some 
remedy that shall rapidly counteract the poison in- 
troduced into the blood, and assist in expelling it 
from the system. The well-authenticated accounts 
of the success attending the internal use of arsenic 
in injuries arising from the bites of venomous rep- 
tiles in the East and West Indies, and also in Africa, 
and the well-known properties of this medicme as a 
powerful tonic and alterative in conditions of im- 
paired vitality of the blood arising from the absorp- 
tion of certain blood-poisons, would lead me to in- 
clude this agent in the treatment already mention- 


ed. It should be administered in combination with 
ammonia, in full doses, frequently repeated, so as to 
neutralize quickly the poison circulating in the blood 
before it can be eliminated from the system. This 
could readily be accomplished by adding ten to fif- 
teen minims of Fowler's solution to the compound 
spirit of ammonia, to be given every quarter of an 
hour in aerated or soda-water, until the vomiting 
and the more urgent symptoms of collapse have 
subsided, subsequently repeating the dose at longer 
intervals until reaction had become fully established, 
and the patient reheved by copious bilious dejec- 

Cedron^ which is a nut that grows on the Isth- 
mus of Panama, and which is sold by the druggists 
in New York, is said to be an infallible antidote to 
serpent-bites. Li the Bullet, de VAcad. de Med. for 
February, 1858, it is stated that a man was bitten 
at Panama by a coral snaJce^ the most poisonous spe- 
cies on the Isthmus. During the few seconds that 
it took him to take the cedron from his bag, he was 
seized with violent pains at the heart and throat; 
but he had scarcely chewed and swallowed a piece 
of the nut about the size of a small bean, when the 
pains ceased as by magic. He chewed a little 
more, and applied it externally to the wound, when 
the pains disappeared, and were followed by a co- 
pious evacuation of a substance like curdled milk. 
Many other cases are mentioned wliere the cedron 
proved an antidote. 



Biyouacs. — Tente d'Abri. — Gutta-percha Knapsack Tent. — 
Comanche Lodge. — Sibley Tent. — Camp Fm-niture. — Lit- 
ters. — Eapid Traveling. — Fuel. — Making Fires. — Fires on 
the Prairies. — Jerking Meat. — Making Lariats, — Making 
Caches, — Disposition of Fire-arms. — Colt's Eevolvers. — 
Gun Accidents. — Trailing. — Indian Sagacity. 


In traveling with pack animals it is not always 
convenient or practicable to transport tents, and the 
traveler's ingenuity is often taxed in devising the 
most available means for making himself comforta- 
ble and secure against winds and storms. I have 
often been astonished to see how soon an expe- 
rienced voyager, without any resources save those 
provided by nature, will erect a comfortable shelter 
in a place where a person having no knowledge of 
woodcraft would never think of such a thing. 

Almost all people in different parts of the world 
have their own peculiar methods of bivouacking. 

In the severe climate of Thibet, Dr. Hooker in- 
forms us that they encamp near large rocks, which 
absorb the heat during the day, and give it out 
slowly during the night. They form, as it were,- 
reservoirs of caloric, the influence of which is ex- 
ceedingly grateful during a cold night. 


In the polar regions the Esqnimanx live and 
make themselves comfortable in huts of ice or snow, 
and with no other combustible but oil. 

The natives of Australia bury their bodies in the 
sand, keeping their heads only above the surface, 
and thus sleep warm during the chilly nights of 
that climate. 

Fortunately for the health and comfort of travel- 
ers upon the Plains, the atmosphere is pure and dry 
during the greater part of the year, and it is seldom 
that any rain or dew is seen; neither are there 
marshes or ponds of stagnant water to generate pu- 
trid exhalations and poisonous malaria. The night 
air of the summer months is soft, exhilarating, and 
delightful. Persons may therefore sleep in it and 
inhale it with perfect impunity, and, indeed, many 
prefer this to breathing the confined atmosphere of 
a house or tent. 

During the rainy season only is it necessary to 
seek shelter. In traveling with covered wagons 
one always has protection from storms, but with 
pack trains it becomes necessary to improvise the 
best substitutes for tents. 

A very secure protection against storms may be 
constructed by planting firmly in the ground two 
upright poles, with forks. at their tops, and crossing 
them with a light pole laid in the forks. A gutta- 
percha cloth, or sheet of canvas, or, in the absence 
of either of these two, blankets, may be attached by 
one side to the horizontal pole, the opposite edge 


being stretched out to the windward at an angle of 
about forty-five degrees to the ground, and there 
fastened with wooden pins, or with buckskin strings 
tied to the lower border of the cloth and to pegs 


driven firmly into the earth. This forms a shelter 
for three or four men, and is a good defense against 
winds and rains. If a fire be then made in front, 
the smoke will be carried away, so as not to incom- 
mode the occupants of the bivouac. 

This is called a " half-faced" camp. 

Another method practiced a great deal among 
mountain men and Indians consists in placing sev- 
eral rough poles equidistant around in a half circle, 
and bringing the small ends together at the top, 
where they are bound wijth a thong. This forms 
the conical frame-work of the bivouac, which, when 
covered with a cloth stretched around it, makes a 
very good shelter, and is preferable to the half- 
faced camp, because the sides are covered. 




When no cloths, blankets, or hides are at hand 
to be placed over the poles of the lodge, it may be 
covered with green boughs laid on compactly, so 
as to shed a good deal of rain, and keep out the 
wind in cold weather. We adopted this descrip- 
tion of shelter in crossing the Rocky Moxmtains 
during the winter of 1857-8, and thus formed a 
very effectual protection against the bleak winds 
which sweep with great violence over those lofty 
and inhospitable sierras. We always selected a 
dense thicket for our encampment, and covered the 
lodges with a heavy coatmg of pine boughs, wattling 
them together as compactly as possible, and piling 
snow upon the outside in such a manner as to make 
them quite impervious to the wmd. The fires were 
then kindled at the mouths of the lodges, and our 


heads and bodies were completely sheltered, while 
our feet were kept warm by the fires. 

The French troops, while serving in the Crimea, 
used what they call the te7ite cVah% or shelter tent, 
which seems to have been received with great favor 
in Europe. It is composed of two, four, or six 
square pieces of cloth, with buttons and button- 
holes adjusted upon the edges, and is pitched by 
planting two upright stakes in the ground at a dis- 
tance corresponding with the length of the canvas 
when buttoned together. The tAVO sticks are con- 
nected by a cord passed around the top of each, 
drawn tight, and the ends made fast to pins driven 
firmly into the ground. The canvas is then laid 
over the rope between the sticks, spread out at an 
angle of about forty-five degrees, and the loAver 
edges secured to the earth with wooden pins. 
This makes some defense against the weather, and 
was the only shelter enjoyed by the mass of the 
French army in the Crimea up to October, 1855. 
For a permanent camp it is usual to excavate a 
shallow basement under the tent, and to bank up 
the earth on the outside in cold weather. It is de- 
signed that upon marches the teiite cPahri shall be 
taken to pieces and carried by the soldiers. 

A tent, invented by an officer of the U. S. Army, 
has recently been prepared by Mr. John Rider, 165 
Broadway, New York, which is called the " tent 
hnapsackP It has been examined by a board of 
army officers, and recommended for adoption in our 
military service. 




This tent is somewhat similar to the tente Wdbri^ 
and is pitched in the same manner, but it has this 
advantage, that each separate piece may be con- 
verted into a water-proof knapsack. 

The following extracts from the Report of the 
Board go to show that this tent knapsack will be 
useful to parties traveHng on the prairies with pack 
trains : 


" It is a piece of gutta-percha 5 feet 3 inches long, 
and 3 feet 8 inches wide, with double edges on one 
side, and brass studs and button-holes along two 
edges, and straps and buckles on the fourth edge ; 
the whole weighing three pounds ; two sticks, 3 feet 
8 inches long by li inches in diameter, and a small 
cord. When used as a knapsack, the clothing is 
packed in a cotton bag, and the gutta-percha sheet 
is folded round it, lapping at the ends. The cloth- 
ing is thus protected by two or three thicknesses 
of gutta-percha, and in this respect there is a supe- 
riority over the knapsack now used by our troops. 
Other advantages are, that the tent knapsack has 
no seams, the parts at which those in use wear out 
soonest ; it adapts itself to the size of the contents, 
so that a compact and portable bundle can be made, 
whether the kit be entire or not ; and, with the cot- 
ton bag, it forms a convenient, commodious, and 
durable receptacle for all a soldier's clothing and 

" On a scout a soldier usually carries only a blank- 
et, overcoat, and at most a single shirt, pair of 
drawers, and a pair of socks, all of which can be 
packed in the tent knapsack in a small bundle, per- 
fectly protected from rain, and capable of being 
suspended from the shoulders and carried with 
comfort and ease during a march. 

" 2d. As a shelter. The studs and eyelets along 
two edges of the tent knapsack are for the purpose 
of fastening a number of them together, and thus 
making a sheet of larger dimensions. 

" A sheet formed by fastening together four knap- 
sacks was exhibited to the Board, stretched upon a 
frame of wood. When used in service the sheet is 
to be stretched on a rope supported by two poles, 
or by two rifles, muskets, or carbines, and pinned 
down at the sides with six pins, three on each side. 

',t M*,,' I' ', 


"The sheet of four knapsacks is 10 feet 6 inches 
long, and 1 feet 4 inches wide, and when pitched 
on a rope 4 feet 4 inches above the ground, covers 
a horizontal space 6 feet 6 inches wide, and 7 feet 
4 inches long, which will accommodate five men, 
and may be made to shelter seven. The sheet can 
also be used on the ground, and is a great protection 
from dampness, and as a shawl or talma ; indeed, a 
variety of advantageous uses to which the gutta- 
percha sheet may be put will suggest themselves 
to persons using it. 

" The Board is satisfied with its merits in all the 
uses to which it is proj^osed to be put, and is of 
opinion that the gutta-percha tent knapsack may be 
adopted in the military service with advantage." 

The usual tenement of the prairie tribes, and of 
the traders, trappers, and hunters who live among 
them, is the Comanche lodge, which is made of 
eight straight peeled poles about twenty feet long, 
covered with hides or cloth. The lodge is pitched 
by connecting the smaller extremities of three of 
the poles with one end of a long line. The three 
poles are then raised perpendicularly, and the larger 
extremities spread out in a tripod to the circumfer- 
ence of the circle that is to form the base of the 
lodge. The other poles are then raised, laid into 
the forks of the three first, and spread out equidis- 
tant upon the circle, thus forming the conical frame- 
work of the structure. Nine or ten poles are gen- 
erally used in one lodge. 

The long line attached to the tripod is then 
wound several times around the top, where the 


poles intersect, and tlie lower end made fast at the 
base of the lodge, thus securmg the frame firmly in 
its position. The covering, made of buffalo hides, 
dressed without the hair, and cut and sewed to- 
gether to fit the conical frame, is raised with a pole, 
spread out around the structure, and united at the 
edges with sharpened wooden pegs, leaving sufii- 
cient space open at the bottom for a doorway, which 
may be closed with a blanket spread out with two 
small sticks, and suspended over the opening. 

The lower edge of the lodge is made fast to the 
ground with wooden pins. The apex is left open, 
with a triangular wing or flap on each side, and the 
windward flap constantly stretched out by means 
of a pole inserted into a pocket in the end of it, 
which causes it to draw like a sail, and thus occa- 
sions a draught from the fire built upon the groimd 
in the centre of the lodge, and makes it warm and 
comfortable in the coldest winter weather. Canvas 
makes a very good substitute for the buffalo-skin 


A tent has been invented by Major H. H. Sibley, 
of the army, which is known as the " Sibley tentP 
It is somewhat similar to the Comanche lodge, but 
in place of the conical frame-work of poles it has 
but one upright standard, resting upon an iron tri- 
pod in the centre. The tripod can be used to sus- 
pend cooking utensils over the fire, and, when fold- 



ed iq:*, admits the wooden standard between the 
legs, thereby reducing the length one half, and 
making it more convenient for packing and trav- 


This tent constituted the entire shelter of the 
army in Utah during the wmter of 1 857-8, and, 
notwithstanding the severity of the climate in the 
elevated locality of Camp Scott, the troops were 
quite comfortable, and pleased with the tent. 

In permanent camps the Sibley tent may be so 
pitched as to give more room by erecting a tripod 
upon the outside with three poles high and stout 


enough to admit of the tent's being suspended by 
ropes attached to the apex. This method dispenses 
with the necessity of the central upright standard. 

When the weather is very cold, the tent may be 
made warmer by excavating a basement about three 
feet deep, which also gives a wall to the tent, mak- 
ing it more roomy. 

The tent used in the army will shelter comforta- 
bly twelve men. 

Captain G. Rhodes, of the English army, in his 
recent work uj)on tents and tent-life, has given a 
description of most of the tents used in the diiferent 
armies in Europe, but, in my judgment, none of 
them, in point of convenience, comfort, and econo- 
my, will compare with the Sibley tent for campaign- 
ing in cold weather. One of its most important 
features, that of admitting of a fire within it and of 
causmg a draught by the disjoosition of the wings, 
is not, that I am aware, possessed by any other 
tent. Moreover, it is exempt from the objections 
that are urged against some other tents on account 
of insalubrity from want of top ventilation to carry 
off the impure air during the night. 


The accompanying illustrations present some con- 
venient articles of portable camp furniture. 

Camp Chair No. 1 is of oak or other hard wood. 
Fig. 1 represents it opened for use ; in Fig. 2 it is 
closcii for transportation. A is a stout canvas. 


CAMP CUAJK8. N08. 2 AND 3, 





forming tlie back and seat; J, 5, h are iron butt- 
hinges ; c, c are leather straps, one inch and a quar- 
ter wide, forming the arms ; d is an iron rod, with 
nut and screw at one end. 

Camp Chair No. 2 is made of sticks tied togeth- 
er with thongs of buckskin or raw hide. 

Camp Chair No. 3 is a very comfortable seat, 
made of a barrel, the part forming the seat being 
filled with grass. 

Camp Table. Fig. 1 represents the table folded 
for transportation ; m Fig. 2 it is spread out for use. 
A is the top of the table ; a, a are side boards, and 
c, c are end boards, turning on butt-hinges, J, 5, h. 

Field Cots. In No. 1, A represents the cot put 
up for use; B^ the cot folded for transportation. 
The legs turn upon iron bolts nmning through the 
head and foot boards ; they are then placed upon 
the canvas, and the whole is rolled up around the 
side pieces. In No. 2 the upper figure represents 
the cot put up for use ; the lower shoAvs it folded 
for transportation. JL is a stout canvas ; ^, h are 
iron butt-hinges ; c, c, the legs ; c?, c?, leather straps, 
with buckles, which hold the legs firm ; f^ f^ ends, 
which fold upon hinges ; </, g^ cross-bars from leg to 
leg. This cot is strong, light, and portable. 

Camp Bureau. This cut represents two chests, 
A^ A, with their handles, a, a; the covers taken 
ofi", they are placed one upon the other, and secured 
by the clamps J3, B ; d shows the division between 
the two chests. When it is to be transported, the 
























knobs, c, are unscrewed from the drawers, the look- 
ing-glass, /*, is removed, the drawers are filled with 
clothing, etc., and the lids are screwed on. 

Mess-chest. A represents the chest open for 
table; ^ is the same closed; C is the upper tray 
of tin, with compartments, b, b ; ^ is the lower 
wooden tray, divided into compartments, a, a, for 
various purposes, and made fast to the bottom of 
the chest ; c?, d are lids opening with hinges ; f 
(in figure B) is a wooden leg, turning upon a hinge, 
and fitting snugly between two pieces of wood 
screwed upon the cover. 


Should a party traveling with pack animals, and 
without ambulances or wagons, have one of its 
members wounded or taken so sick as to be unable 
to walk or ride on horseback, a litter may be con- 
structed by taking two poles about twenty feet in 
length, uniting them by two sticks three feet long 
lashed across the centre at six feet apart, and 
stretching a piece of stout canvas, a blanket, or 
hide between them to form the bed. Two steady 
horses or mules are then selected, placed between 
the poles in the front and rear of the litter, and the 
ends of the poles made fast to the sides of the ani- 
mals, either by attachment to the stirrups or to the 
ends of straps secured over their backs. 

The patient may then be placed upon the litter, 
and is ready for the march. 


Tho elasticity of the long poles gives an easy mo- 
tion to the conveyance, and makes this method of 
locomotion much more comfortable than might be 

The prairie Indians have a way of transporting 
their sick and children upon a htter very similar in 
construction to the one just described, excepting 
that one animal is used instead of two. One end 
of the litter is made fast to the sides of the animal, 
while the other end is left to trail upon the ground. 
A projection is raised for the feet to rest against 
and prevent the patient from sliding down. In- 
stead of canvas, the Indians sometimes lash a large 
willow basket across the poles, in which they place 
the person to be transported. The animals har- 
nessed to the litter must be carefully conducted 
upon the march, and caution used in passing over 
rough and broken ground. 

A very convenient and comfortable method of 
packing a sick or wounded man when there are no 
animals disposable, and which is sometimes resorted 
to by the Indians, is to take two small poles about 
ten feet long, and lash three cross-pieces to them, 
one in the centre, and the other two about eighteen 
inches from the ends. A blanket or hide is then 
secured firmly to this frame, and the patient placed 
upon it under the centre cross-piece, which prevents 
him from falling out. Two men act as carriers, 
walkmg between the ends of the long poles. The 
patient may be protected against the rain or sun by 




bending small wiUows over the frame, and coveiuig 
tliem with a cloth. 


Small parties with good animals, hght vehicles, 
and little lading, may traverse the Plains rapidly 
and comfortably, if the following injunctions be 

The day's drive should commence as soon as it 

FUEL AND riEE. 155 

is light, and, where the road is good, the animals 
kept upon a slow trot for about three hours, then 
immediately turned out upon the best grass that 
can be found for two hours, thus giving time for 
grazing and breakfast. After which another drive 
of about three hours may be made, making the 
noon halt about three hours, when the animals are 
again harnessed, and the journey continued until 

In passing through a country infested by hostile 
Indians, the evening drive should be j)rolonged 
until an hour or two after dark, turning off at a 
point where the ground is hard, going about half a 
mile from the road, and encamping without fires, 
in low ground, where the Indians will find it diffi- 
cult to track or see the party. 

These frequent halts serve to rest and recruit the 
animals so that they will, without injury, make 
from thirty to forty miles a day for a long time. 
Thip ^^owever, can only be done with very fight 
If ^ .md vehicles, such, for example, as an ambu- 
lance with four mules, only three or four persons, 
and a small amount of luggage. 

There are long distances upon some of the routes 
to California where no other fuel is found but the 
dried dung of the buffalo, called by the mountain- 
eers " chips," and by the French " bois de vache," 
the argul of the Tartary deserts. It burns weU 


when perfectly dry, answers a good purpose for 
cooking, and some men even prefer it to wood. 
As it will not burn when wet, it is well, in a coun- 
try where no other fuel can be had, when it threat- 
ens to rain, for the traveler to collect a supply 
before the rain sets in, and carry it in wagons to 
the camp. When dry, the chips are easily lighted. 

A great saving in fuel may be made by digging 
a trench about two feet long by eight inches in 
width and depth ; the fires are made in the bottom 
of the trench, and the cooking utensils placed upon 
the top, where they receive aU the heat. This plan 
is especially recommended for windy weather, and 
it is convenient at aU times. The wood should be 
cut short, and split into small pieces. 

It is highly important that travelers should know 
the different methods that may be resorted to for 
kindling fires upon a march. 

The most simple and most expeditious of these 
is by using the lucifer matches ; but, unless they are 
kept in well-corked bottles, they are hable to be- 
come wet, and wiU then fail to ignite. 

The most of those found in the shops easily im- 
bibe dampness, and are of but little use in the 
prairies. Those marked " Van Duser, New York," 
and put up in flat rectangular boxes, are the best I 
have met with, and were the only ones I saw which 
were not affected by the humid climate of Mexico. 
Wax lucifers are better than wooden, as they are 
impervious to moisture. 


I have seen an Indian start a fire with flint and 
steel after others had failed to do it with matches. 
This was during a heavy rain, when almost aU avail- 
able fuel had become wet. On such occasions dry 
fuel may generally be obtained under logs, rocks, 
or leaning trees. 

The inner bark of some dry trees, cedar for in- 
stance, is excellent to kindle a fire. The bark is 
rubbed in the hand until the fibres are ma^e fine 
and loose, when it takes fire easily ; dry grass or 
leaves are also good. After a suflicient quantity 
of small kindhng fuel has been collected, a moist- 
ened rag is rubbed with powder, and a spark struck 
into it with a flint and steel, which will ignite it ; 
this is then placed in the centre of the loose nest of 
inflammable material, and whirled around in the air 
until it bursts out into a flame. When it is rain- 
ing, the blaze should be laid upon the dryest spot 
that can be found, a blanket held over it to keep 
off the water, and it is fed with very small bits of 
dry wood and shavings until it has gained sufficient 
strength to burn the larger damp wood. When 
no dry place can be found, the fire nmy be started 
in a kettle or frying-pan, and afterward transferred 
to the ground. 

Should there be no other means of starting a fire, 
it can always be made with a gun or pistol, by 
placing upon the ground a rag saturated with 
damp powder, and a httle dry powder sprinkled 
over it. The gun or pistol is then (uncharged) 


placed with the cone directly over and near the 
rag, and a cap exj^loded, which will invariably ig- 
nite it. Another method is by placing about one 
fourth of a charge of powder into a gun, pushing a 
rag down loosely upon it, and firing it out with the 
muzzle down near the ground, which ignites the 

The most difficult of all methods of making a fire, 
but one that is practiced by some of the Western 
Indians, is by friction between two pieces of wood. 
I had often heard of this process, but never gave 
credit to its practicability until I saw the experi- 
ment successfully tried. It was done in the follow- 
ing manner : Two dried stalks of the Mexican soap- 
plant, about three fourths of an inch in diameter, 
were selected, and one of them made flat on one 
side ; near the edge of this flat surface a very small 
indentation was made to receive the end of the 
other stick, and a groove cut from this down the 
side. The other stick is cut with a rounded end, 
and placed upright upon the first. One man then 
holds the horizontal piece upon the ground, while 
another takes the vertical stick between the palms 
of his hands, and turns it back and forth as rapidly 
as possible, at the same time pressing forcibly down 
upon it. The point of the upright stick wears away 
the indentation into a fine powder, which runs ofi* 
to the ground in the groove that has been cut ; after 
a time it begins to smoke, and by continued friction 
it will at length take fire. 


This is an operation that is difficult, and requires 
practice; but if a drill-stick is used Avith a cord 
placed around the centre of the upright stick, it can 
be turned much more rapidly than with the hands, 
and the fire j^roduced more readily. The upright 
stick may be of any hard, dry wood, but the low- 
er horizontal stick must be of a soft, inflammable na- 
ture, such as pine, cottonwood, or black walnut, and 
it must be perfectly dry. The Indians work the 
sticks with the palms of the hands, holding the low- 
er piece between the feet ; but it is better to have 
a man to hold the lower piece while another man 
works the drill-bow. 

Inexperienced travelers are very liable, in kindling 
fires at their camp, to ignite the grass around them. 
Great caution should be taken to guard against the 
occurrence of such accidents, as they might prove 
exceedingly disastrous. We were very near hav- 
ing our entire train of wagons and supplies destroy- 
ed, ujDon one occasion, by the carelessness of one of 
our party in setting fire to the grass, and it was 
only by the most strenuous and well-timed efibrts 
of two hundred men in setting counter fires, and 
burning around the train, that it was saved. When 
the grass is dry it will take fire like powder, and if 
thick and tall, with a brisk wind, the flames run like 
a race-horse, sweeping every thing before them. A 
lighted match, or the ashes from a segar or pipe, 
thrown carelessly into the dry grass, sometimes sets 
it on fire ; but the greatest danger lies in kindling 


To prevent accidents of this kind, before kindling 
the fire a space should be cleared away sufficient to 
embrace the limits of the flame, and all combusti- 
bles removed therefrom, and while the fire is being 
made men should be stationed around with blankets 
ready to put it out if it takes the grass. 

When a fire is approaching, and escape from its 
track is impossible, it may be repelled in the follow- 
ing manner : The train and animals are parked com- 
pactly together ; then several men, provided with 
blankets, set fire to the grass on the lee side, burn- 
ing it away gradually from the train, and extinguish- 
ing it on the side next the train. This can easily 
be done, and the fire controlled mth the blankets, 
or with dry sand thrown upon it, until an area large 
enough to give room for the train has been burned 
clear. Now the train moves on to this ground of 
safety, and the fire passes by harmless. 


So pure is the atmosphere in the interior of our 
continent that fresh meat may be cured, or jerked^ 
as it is termed in the language of the prairies, by 
cutting it into strips about an inch thick, and hang- 
ing it in the sun, where in a few days it will dry so 
well that it may be packed in sacks, and transport- 
ed over long journeys without putrefying. 

When there is not time to jerk the meat by the 
slow process described, it may be done in a few 
hours by building an open frame-work of small 


Sticks about two feet above the ground, placing the 
strips of meat upon the top of it, and keeping up a 
slow fire beneath, which dries the meat rapidly. 

The jerking process may be done upon the march 
without any loss of time by stretching lines from 
front to rear upon the outside of loaded wagons, 
and suspending the meat upon them, where it is al- 
lowed to remain until sufficiently cured to be pack- 
ed away. Salt is never used in this process, and is 
not required, as the meat, if kept dry, rarely putre- 

If travelers have ample transportation, it will be 
a wise precaution, in passing through the buffalo 
range, to lay in a supply of jerked meat for future 


It frequently happens upon long journeys that the 
lariat ropes wear out or are lost, and if there were 
no means of replacing them great inconvenience 
might result therefrom. A very good substitute 
may be made by taking the green hide of a buffalo, 
horse, mule, or ox, stretching it upon the ground, 
and pinning it do^vn by the edges. After it has 
been well stretched, a circle is described with a piece 
of charcoal, embracing as much of the skin as prac- 
ticable, and a strip about an inch wide cut from the 
outer edge of sufficient length to form the lariat. 
The strip is then wrapped around between two 
trees or stakes, drawn tight, and left to dry, after 


which it is subjected to a process of friction until it 
becomes pHable, when it is ready for use ; this lariat 
answers well so long as it is kept dry, but after it 
has been wet and dried again it becomes very hard 
and unyielding. This, however, may be obviated 
by boiling it in oil or grease until thoroughly satu- 
rated, after which it remains pliable. 

The Indians make very good lariat ropes of dress- 
ed buffalo or buck skins cut into narrow strips and 
braided ; these, when oiled, slip much more freely 
than the hemp or cotton ropes, and are better for 
lassoing animals, but they are not as suitable for 
picketing as those made of other material, because 
the wolves will eat them, and thus set free the ani- 
mals to which they are attached. 


It not unfrequently happens that travelers are 
compelled, for want of transportation, to abandon a 
portion of their luggage, and if it is exposed to the 
keen scrutiny of the thieving savages who often 
follow the trail of a party, and hunt over old camps 
for such things as may be left, it will be likely to 
be appropriated by them. Such contingencies have 
given rise to a method of secreting articles called 
by the old French Canadian voyagers " caching P 

The proper places for making caches are in loose 
sandy soils, where the earth is dry and easUy ex- 
cavated. Near the bank of a river is the most con- 
venient for this purpose, as the earth taken out 


can be thrown into the water, leaving no trace be- 

When the spot has been chosen, the turf is care- 
fully cut and laid aside, after which a hole is dug in 
the shape of an egg, and of sufficient dimensions to 
contain the articles to be secreted, and the earth, as 
it is taken out, thrown upon a cloth or blanket, and 
carried to a stream or ravine, where it can be dis- 
posed of, being careful not to scatter any upon the 
ground near the cache. The hole is then lined with 
bushes or dry grass, the articles placed within, cov- 
ered with grass, the hole filled up with earth, and 
the sods carefully placed back in their original posi- 
tion, and every thing that would be likely to attract 
an Indian's attention removed from the locahty. 
If an India-rubber or gutta-percha cloth is disposable, 
it should be used to envelop the articles in the cache. 

Another plan of making a cache is to dig the hole 
inside a tent, and occuj^y the tent for some days 
after the goods are deposited. This efiaces the 
marks of excavation. 

The mountain traders were formerly in the habit 
of building fires over their caches, but the Indians 
have become so familiar with this practice that I 
should think it no longer safe. 

Another method of caching which is sometimes 
resorted to is to place the articles in the top of an 
evergreen tree, such as the pine, hemlock, or spruce. 
The thick boughs are so arranged around the pack- 
ages that they can not be seen from beneath, and 


they are tied to a limb to prevent them from be- 
ing blown out by the wind. This will only answer 
for such articles as will not become injured by the 

Caves or holes in the rocks that are protected 
from the rains are also secure deposits for caching 
goods, but in every case care must be taken to ob- 
literate all tracks or other indications of men having 
been near them. These caches will be more secure 
when made at some distance from roads or trails, 
and in places where Indians would not be likely to 

To find a cache again, the bearing and distance 
from the centre of it to some prominent object, such 
as a mound, rock, or tree, should be carefully de- 
termined and recorded, so that any one, on return- 
ing to the spot, would have no difficulty in ascer- 
taining its position. 


The mountaineers and trappers exercise a very 
wise precaution, on laying down for the night, by 
placing their arms and ammunition by their sides, 
where they can be seized at a moment's notice. 
This rule is never departed from, and they are 
therefore seldom liable to be surprised. In Par- 
kyns's "Abyssinia," I find the following remarks 
upon this subject : 

" When getting sleepy, you return your rifle be- 
tween your legs, roll over, and go to sleep. Some 


people may think this is a queer place for a rifle ; 
but, on the contrary, it is the position of all others 
where utility and comfort are most combined. The 
butt rests on the arm, and serves as a pillow for 
the head; the muzzle points between the knees, 
and the arms encircle the lock and breech, so that 
you have a smooth pillow, and are always prepared 
to start up armed at a moment's notice." 

I have never made the experiment of sleeping in 
this way, but I should imagine that a gun-stock 
would make rather a hard pillow. 

Many of our experienced frontier ofiicers prefer 
carrying their pistols in a belt at their sides to 
placing them in holsters attached to the saddle, as 
in the former case they are always at hand when 
they are dismounted ; whereas, by the other plan, 
they become useless when a man is unhorsed, unless 
he has tune to remove them from the saddle, which, 
during the excitement of an action, would seldom 
be the case. 

N'ot withstanding Colt's army and navy sized re- 
volvers have been m use for a long time in our 
army, officers are by no means of one mind as to 
their relative merits for frontier service. The navy 
pistol, being more light and portable, is more con- 
venient for the belt, but it is very questionable in 
my mind whether these qualities counterbalance 
the advantages derived from the greater weight of 
powder and lead that can be fired from the larger 
pistol, and the consequent increased projectile force. 


This point is illustrated by an incident which 
fell under my own observation. ' In passing near 
the "Medicine-Bow Butte" during the spring of 
1858, 1 most unexpectedly encountered and fired at 
a full-grown grizzly bear ; but, as my horse had be- 
come somewhat blown by a previous gallop, his 
breathing so much disturbed my aim that I missed 
the animal at the short distance of about fifty yards, 
and he ran ofi*. Fearful, if I stoj)ped to reload my 
rifle, the bear would make his escape, I resolved to 
drive him back to the advanced guard of our escort, 
which I could see approaching in the distance ; this 
I succeeded in doing, when several mounted men, 
armed with the navy revolvers, set off in joursuit. 
They approached within a few joaces, and discharged 
ten or twelve shots, the most of which entered the 
animal, but he still kept on, and his j)rogress did 
not seem materially imj)eded by the womids. Aft- 
er these men had exhausted their charges, another 
man rode up armed with the army revolver, and 
fired two shots, Avhich brought the stalwart beast 
to the ground. Upon skinning him and making an 
examination of the wounds, it was discovered that 
none of the balls from the small pistols had, after 
passing through his thick and tough hide, pene- 
trated deeper than about an inch into the flesh, but 
that the two balls from the large pistol had gone 
into the vitals and killed him. This test was to 
my mind a decisive one as to the relative efiiciency 
of the two arms for frontier service, and I resolved 
thenceforth to carry the larger size. 


Several different methods are practiced in sling- 
ing and carrying fire-arms upon horseback. The 
shoulder-strap, with a swivel to hook into a ring 
behind the guard, with the muzzle resting down- 
ward in a leather cup attached by a strap to the 
same staj^le as the stirrup-leather, is a very handy 
method for cavalry soldiers to sling their carbines ; 
but, the gun being reversed, the joltmg caused by 
the motion of the horse tends to move the charge 
and shake the powder out of the cone, which ren- 
ders it Hable to burst the gun and to miss fire. 

An invention of the ISTamaquas, in Africa, de- 
scribed by Galton in his Art of Travel, is as fol- 

" Sew a bag of canvas, leather, or hide, of such 
bigness as to admit the butt of the gun pretty free- 
ly. The straps that support it buckle through a 
ring in the pommel, and the thongs by which its 
slope is adjusted fasten round the girth below. The 
exact adjustments may not be hit uj)on by an un- 
practiced person for some little time, but, when they 
are once ascertained, the straps need never be shift- 
ed. The gun is perfectly safe, and never comes be- 
low the arm-pit, even in taking a drop leap ; it is 
pulled out in an instant by bringing the elbow in 
front of the gun and close to the side, so as to throw 
the gun to the outside of the arm ; then, lowering 
the hand, the gun is caught up. It is a bungling 
way to take out the gun while its barrel lies between 
the arm and the body. Any sized gun can be car- 


ried in this fashion. It offers no obstacle to mount- 
ing or dismounting." 

This may be a convenient way of carrying the 
gun ; I have never tried it. Of all methods I have 
used, I prefer, for hunting, a piece of leather about 
twelve inches by four, with a hole cut in each end ; 
one of the ends is placed over the pommel of the 
saddle, and with a buckskin string made fast to it, 
where it remains a permanent fixture. When the 
rider is mounted, he places his gun across the strap 
upon the saddle, and carries the loose end forward 
over the pommel, the gun resting horizontally across 
his legs. It will now only be necessary occasional- 
ly to steady the gun with the hand. After a little 
practice the rider will be able to control it with his 
knees, and it will be found a very easy and conven- 
ient method of carrying it. When required for 
use, it is taken out in an instant by sunply raising 
it with the hand, when the loose end of the strap 
comes off the pommel. 

The chief causes of accidents from the use of 
fire-arms arise from carelessness, and I have always 
observed that those persons who are most famihar 
with their use are invariably the most careful. 
Many accidents have happened from carrymg guns 
with the cock down ujDon the cap. When in this 
position, a blow uj)on the cock, and sometimes the 
concussion produced by the falling of the gun, will 
explode the cap ; and, occasionally, when the cock 
catches a twig, or in the clothes, and lifts it from the 


cap, it will explode. With a gim at half-cock there 
is but little danger of such accidents ; for, when the 
cock is drawn back, it either comes to the full-cock, 
and remains, or it returns to the half-cock, but does 
not go down upon the cone. Another source of 
very many sad and fatal accidents resultmg from 
the most stupid and culpable carelessness is in per- 
sons standing before the muzzles of guns and at- 
tempting to pull them out of wagons, or to draw 
them through a fence or brush in the same position. 
If the cock encounters an obstacle in its passage, it 
will, of course, be drawn back and fall upon the cap. 
These accidents are of frequent occurrence, and the 
cause is well understood by all, yet men continue to 
disregard it, and their lives pay the penalty of their 
indiscretion. It is a wise maxim, which applies 
with especial force in campaigning on the prairies, 
" Alicays look to your gun^ hut never let your gun 
looJc at youP 

An equally important maxim might be added to 
this : Never to point your gun at a7iother^ whether 
charged or uncharged^ and never allow another to 
point his gun at you. Young men, before they 
become accustomed to the use of arms, are very apt 
to be careless, and a large percentage of gun acci- 
dents may be traced to this cause. That finished 
sportsman and wonderful shot, my friend Captain 
Martin Scott, than whom a more gallant soldier 
never fought a battle, was the most careful man 
with fii'e-arms I ever knew, and up to the time he 


received his death- wound upon the bloody field of 
Molino del Rey he never ceased his cautionary ad- 
vice to young officers upon this subject. His ex- 
tended experience and intimate acquaintance with 
the use of arms had fully impressed him with its 
importance, and no man ever lived whose opinions 
upon this subject should carry greater weight. As 
incomprehensible as it may appear to persons ac- 
customed to the use of fire-arms, recruits are very 
prone, before they have been drilled at target prac- 
tice with ball cartridges, to place the ball below the 
powder in the piece. Officers conducting detach- 
ments through the Indian country should therefore 
give their special attention to this, and require the 
recruits to tear the cartridge and pour all the pow- 
der into the piece before the ball is inserted. 

As accidents often occur in camp from the acci- 
dental discharge of fire-arms that have been capped, 
I would recommend that the arms be continually 
kept loaded in campaigning, but the caps not placed 
upon the cones until they are required for firing. 
This will cause but little delay in an action, and will 
conduce much to security from accidents. 

When loaded fire-arms have been exposed for any 
considerable time to a moist atmosphere, they should 
be discharged, or the cartridges drawn, and the 
arms thoroughly cleaned, dried, and oiled. Too 
much attention can not be given in keeping arms 
in perfect firing order. 



I know of nothing in the woodman's education 
of so much importance, or so difficult to acquire, as 
the art of trailing or tracking men and animals. 
To become an adept in this art requires the con- 
stant practice of years, and with some men a life- 
time does not suffice to learn it. 

Almost all the Indians whom I have met with 
are proficient in this species of knowledge, the fac- 
ulty for acquiring which appears to be innate with 
them. Exigencies of woodland and prairie-life stim- 
ulate the savage from childhood to develop facul- 
ties so important in the arts of war and of the chase. 

I have seen very few white men Avho were good 
trailers, and practice did not seem very materially 
to improve their faculties in this regard ; they have 
not the same acute perceptions for these things as 
the Indian or the Mexican. It is not apprehended 
that this difficult branch of woodcraft can be taught 
from books, as it pertains almost exclusively to the 
school of practice, yet I will give some facts relat- 
ing to the habits of the Indians that will facihtate 
its acquirement. 

A party of Indians, for example, starting out upon 
a war excursion, leave their families behind, and 
never transport their lodges; whereas, when they 
move with their families, they carry their lodges and 
other effects. If, therefore, an Indian trail is dis- 
covered with the marks of the lodge-poles upon it. 


it has certainly not been made by a war-party ; but 
if the track do not show the trace of lodge-poles, it 
will be equally certain that a war or huntmg party 
has passed that way, and if it is not desired to come 
in conflict with them, their direction may be avoid- 
ed. Mustangs or wild horses, when moving from 
place to place, leave a trail which is sometimes diffi- 
cult to distinguish from that made by a mounted 
party of Indians, especially if the mustangs do not 
stop to graze. This may be determined by follow- 
ing upon the trail until some dung is found, and if 
this should lie in a single pile, it is a sure indication 
that a herd of mustangs has passed, as they always 
stop to relieve themselves, while a party of Indians 
would keep their horses in motion, and the ordure 
would be scattered along the road. If the trail 
pass through woodland, the mustangs will occasion- 
ally go under the limbs of trees too low to admit 
the passage of a man on horseback. 

An Indian, on commg to a trail, will generally tell 
at a glance its age, by what particular tribe it was 
made, the number of the party, and many other 
things connected with it astounding to the unin- 

I remember, upon one occasion, as I was riding 
with a Delaware upon the prairies, we crossed the 
trail of a large party of Indians traveling with 
lodges. The tracks appeared to me quite fresh, and 
I remarked to the Indian that we must be near the 
party. " Oh no," said he, " the trail was made two 


days before, in the morning," at the same time point- 
ing with his finger to where the sun would be at 
about 8 o'clock. Then, seeing that my curiosity was 
excited to know by what means he arrived at this 
conclusion, he called my attention to the fact that 
there had been no dew for the last two nights, but 
that on the previous morning it had been heavy. 
He then pointed out to me some spears of grass 
that had been pressed down into the earth by the 
horses' hoofs, upon which the sand still adhered, 
having dried on, thus clearly showing that the grass 
was wet when the tracks were made. 

At another time, as I was traveling with the same 
Indian, I discovered upon the ground what I took 
to be a bear-track, with a distinctly-marked impres- 
sion of the heel and all the toes. I immediately 
called the Indian's attention to it, at the same 
time flattering myself that I had made quite an im- 
portant discovery, which had escaped his observa- 
tion. The fellow remarked with a smile, " Oh no, 
captain, may be so he not bear-track." He then 
pointed with his gun-rod to some spears of grass 
that grew near the impression, but I did not com- 
prehend the mystery until he dismounted and ex- 
plained to me that, when the wind was blowing, the 
spears of grass would be bent over toward the 
ground, and the oscillating motion thereby produced 
would scoop out the loose sand into the shape I 
have described. The truth of this explanation was 
apparent, yet it occurred to me that its solution 
would have baffled the wits of most white men. 


Fresh tracks generally show moisture where the 
earth has been turned up, but after a short exposure 
to the sun they become dry. If the tracks be very 
recent, the sand may sometimes, where it is very 
loose and dry, be seen running back into the tracks, 
and by following them to a place where they cross 
water, the earth will be wet for some distance after 
they leave it. The droppings of the dung from 
animals are also good indications of the age of a 
trail. It is well to remember whether there have 
been any rains within a few days, as the age of a 
trail may sometimes be conjectured in this way. It 
is very easy to tell whether tracks have been made 
before or after a rain, as the water washes off all 
the sharp edges. 

It is not a difficult matter to distinguish the 
tracks of American horses from those of Indian 
horses, as the latter are never shod; moreover, 
they are much smaller. 

In trailing horses, there will be no trouble while 
the ground is soft, as the impressions they leave 
will then be deep and distinct ; but when they 
pass over hard or rocky ground, it is sometimes a 
very slow and troublesome process to foUow them. 
Where there is grass, the trace can be seen for a 
considerable time, as the grass will be trodden down 
and bent in the direction the party has moved; 
should the grass have returned to its upright posi- 
tion, the trail can often be distinguished by stand- 
ing upon it and looking ahead for some distance in 


the direction it has been pursuing; the grass that 
has been turned over will show a different shade 
of green from that around it, and this often marks 
a trail for a long time. 

Should all traces of the track be obliterated in 
certain localities, it is customary with the Indians 
to follow on in the direction it has been pursuing 
for a time, and it is quite probable that in some 
place where the ground is more favorable it will 
show itself again. Should the trail not be recov- 
ered in this way, they search for a place where *he 
earth is soft, and make a careful exammation, em- 
bracing the entire area where it is likely to run. 

Indians who find themselves pursued and wish 
to escape, scatter as much as possible, with an un- 
derstanding that they are to meet again at some 
point in advance, so that, if the pursuing party fol- 
lows any one of the tracks, it will invariably lead 
to the place of rendezvous. If, for example, the 
trail pomts in the direction of a mountain pass, or 
toward any other place which affords the only pas- 
sage through a particular section of country, it 
would not be worth while to spend much time in 
hunting it, as it would probably be regamed at the 

As it is important in trailing Indians to know at 
what gaits they are traveling, and as the appear- 
ance of the tracks of horses are not familiar to all, 
I have in the following cut represented the prhits 
made by the hoofs at the ordinary speed of the 





walk, trot, and gallop, so that persons, in following 
the trail of Indians, may form an idea as to the 
probability of overtakmg them, and regulate then- 
movements accordingly. 

In traversing a district of unknown country where 
there are no prominent landmarks, and with the 
view of returnmg to the point of departure, a pocket 
compass should always be carried, and attached by 
a string to a button-hole of the coat, to prevent its 
being lost or mislaid ; and on starting out, as well 
as frequently during the trip, to take the bearing, 
and examine the appearance of the country when 
facing toward the starting-point, as a landscape 
presents a very different aspect when viewing it 
from opposite directions. There are few white men 
who can retrace their steps for any great distance 
unless they take the above precautions in passing 
over an unknown country for the first time ; but 
with the Indians it is different ; the sense of locality 
seems to be innate with them, and they do not re- 
quire the aid of the magnetic needle to guide them. 

Upon a certain occasion, when I had made a long 
march over an unexplored section, and was return- 
ing upon an entirely different route without either 
road or trail, a Delaware, by the name of " Black 
Beaver," who was in my party, on arriving at a 
particular point, suddenly halted, and, turning to 
me, asked if I recognized the country before us. 
Seeing no familiar objects, I rephed in the negative. 
He put the same question to the other white men 


of the party, all of whom gave the same answers, 
whereupon he smiled, and in his quaint vernacular 
said, "Injun he don't know nothing. Injun big 
fool. White man mighty smart ; he know heap." 
At the same time he pointed to a tree about two 
hundred yards from where we were then standing, 
and informed us that our outward trail ran directly 
by the side of it, which proved to be true. 

Another time, as I was returning from the Co- 
manche country over a route many miles distant 
from the one I had traveled in going out, one of 
my Delaware hunters, who had never visited the sec- 
tion before, on arriving upon the crest of an eminence 
in the prairie, pointed out to me a clump of trees in 
the distance, remarkmg that our outward track 
would be found there. I was not, however, dis- 
posed to credit his statement until we reached the 
locality and found the road passing the identical 
spot he had indicated. 

This same Indian would start from any place to 
which he had gone by a sinuous route, through an 
unknown country, and keep a direct bearing back 
to the place of departure ; and he assured me that 
he has never, even during the most cloudy or foggy 
weather, or in the darkest nights, lost the points of 
compass. There are very few white men who are 
endowed with these wonderful faculties, and those 
few are only rendered proficient by matured expe- 

I have known several men, after they had become 


lost in the prairies, to wander about for days with- 
out exercising the least judgment, and finally ex- 
hibiting a state of mental aberration almost upon 
the verge of lunacy. Instead of reasoning upon 
their situation, they exhaust themselves rimning 
a-head at their utmost speed without any regard to 
direction. When a person is satisfied that he has 
lost his way, he should stop and reflect upon the 
course he has been traveling, the time that has 
elapsed since he left his camp, and the probable dis- 
tance that he is from it ; and if he is unable to re- 
trace his steps, he should keep as nearly in the di- 
rection of them as possible ; and if he has a compass, 
this will be an easy matter ; but, above all, lie should 
guard against following his own track around in a 
circle with the idea that he is in a beaten trace. 

When he is traveling with a train of wagons 
which leaves a plain trail, he can make the distance 
he has traveled from camp the radius of a circle iq 
which to ride around, and before the circle is de, 
scribed he will strike the trail. K the person ha^ 
no compass, it is always well to make an observa- 
tion, and to remember the direction of the wind at 
the time of departure from camp ; and as this would 
not generally change during the day, it would aflTord 
a means of keeping the points of the compass. 

In the night Ursa Major (the Great Bear) is not 
only useful to find the north star, but its position, 
when the pointers will be vertical in the heavens, 
may be estimated with sufficient accuracy to determ- 


ine the north even when the north star can not be 
seen. In tropical latitudes, the zodiacal stars, such 
as Orion and Antares, give the east and west bear- 
ing, and the Southern Cross the north and south 
when Polaris and the Great Bear can not be seen. 

It is said that the moss upon the firs and other 
trees in Europe gives a certain indication of the 
points of compass in a forest country, the greatest 
amount accumulating upon the north side of the 
trees. But I have often observed the trees in our 
own forests, and have not been able to form any 
positive conclusions in this way. 



Guides and Hunters. — Delawares and Shawnees. — Khebirs. — 
Black Beaver. — Anecdotes. — Domestic Troubles. — Lodges. 
— Similarity of Prairie Tribes to the Arabs. — ^Method of 
making War. — Tracking and pursuing Indians. — Method 
of attacking them. — Telegraphing by Smokes. 


It is highly important that parties making expe- 
ditions through an miexplored country should se- 
cure the services of the best guides and hunters, 
and I know of none who are superior to the Dela- 
wares and Shawnee Indians. They have been with 
me upon several different occasions, and I have in- 
variably found them intelligent, brave, rehable, and 
in every respect well quaUfied to fill their positions. 
They are endowed with those keen and wonderful 
powers in woodcraft which can only be acquired 
by instinct, practice, and necessity, and which are 
possessed by no other people that I have heard of, 
unless it be the khebirs or guides who escort the 
caravans across the great desert of Sahara. 

General E. Dumas, in his treatise upon the " Great 
Desert," pubhshed in Paris, 1856, in speaking of 
these guides, says : 

" The khebir is always a man of intelligence, of 
tried probit}', bravery, and skill. He kiiow.s huvv 


to determine his position from the apj^earance of 
the stars ; by the experience of other journeys he 
has learned all about the roads, wells, and pastures ; 
the dangers of certain passes, and the means of 
avoiding them ; all the chiefs whose territories it is 
necessary to pass through ; the salubrity of the 
difierent localities ; the remedies against diseases ; 
the treatment of fractures, and the antidotes to the 
venom of snakes and scorpions. 

" In these vast solitudes, where nothing seems to 
indicate the route, where the wind covers up all 
traces of the track with sand, the khebir has a 
thousand ways of directing himself in the ri^ht 
course. In the night, when there are no stars in 
sight, by the simple inspection of a handful of grass, 
which he examines with his fingers, which he smells 
and tastes, he informs himself of his locale without 
ever being lost or wandering. 

'' I saw with astonishment that our conductor, 
although he had but one eye, and that defective, 
recognized perfectly the route ; and Leon, the Afri- 
can, states that the conductor of his caravan became 
blind upon the journey from ophthalmia, yet by 
feeling the grass and sand he could tell when we 
were approaching an inhabited place. 

" Our guide had all the qualities which make a 
good khebir. He was young, large, and strong; 
he was a master of arms ; his eye commanded re- 
spect, and his speech won the heart. But if in the 
tent he was affable and winning, once en route he 
spoke only when it was necessary, and never 

The Delawares are but a minute remnant of the 
great Algonquin family, whose early traditions de- 
clare them to be the parent stock from which the 


other numerous branches of the Algonquin tribes 
originated. And they are the same people whom 
the first white settlers found so numerous upon the 
banks of the Delaware. 

When Wilham Penn held his council with the 
Delawares upon the ground where the city of Phil- 
adelphia now stands, they were as peaceful and un- 
warlike in their habits as the Quakers themselves. 
They had been subjugated by the Five Nations, 
forced to take the appellation of squaws, and forego 
the use of arms ; but after they moved west, beyond 
the influence of their former masters, their naturally 
independent spirit revived, they soon regained their 
lofty position as braves and warriors, and the male 
squaws of the Iroquois soon became formidable men 
and heroes, and so have continued to the present 
day. Their war-path has reached the shores of the 
Pacific Ocean on the west, Hudson's Bay on the 
north, and into the very heart of Mexico on the 

They are not clannish in their dispositions like 
most other Indians, nor by their habits confined to 
any given locality, but are found as traders, trap- 
pers, or hunters among most of the Indian tribes 
inhabiting our continent. I even saw them living 
with the Mormons in Utah. They are among the 
Indians as the Jews among the whites, essentially 

The Shawnees have been associated with the Del- 
awares 185 years. They intermarry and live as one 


people. Their present places of abode are upon the 
Missouri River, near Fort Leavenworth, and in the 
Choctaw Territory, upon the Canadian River, near 
Fort Arbuckle. They are familiar with many of 
the habits and customs of their pale-faced neigh- 
bors, and some of them speak the English language, 
yet many of their native characteristics tenaciously 
cling to them. 

Upon one occasion I endeavored to teach a Del- 
aware the use of the comj^ass. He seemed much in- 
terested in its mechanism, and very attentively ob- 
served the oscillations of the needle. He would move 
away a short distance, then return, keeping his eyes 
continually fixed upon the needle and the miiform 
position into Avhich it settled. He did not, how- 
ever, seem to comprehend it in the least, but re- 
garded the entire proceeding as a species of necro- 
mantic performance got up for his especial benefit, 
and I was about putting away the instrument when 
he motioned me to stop, and came walking toward 
it with a very serious but incredulous countenance, 
remarking, as he pointed his finger toward it, " May- 
be so he tell he sometime." 

The ignorance evinced by this Indian regarding 
the uses of the compass is less remarkable than that 
of some white men who are occasionally met upon 
the frontier. 

While surveying Indian lands in the wilds of 
Western Texas during the summer ot 1854,1 en- 
countered a deputy surveyor traveling on foot, with 


his compass and cliaiii upon his back. I saluted him 
very politely, remarking that I presufned he was a 
surveyor, to which he replied, " I reckon, stranger, 
I ar that thar individoal." 

I had taken the magnetic variation several times, 
always with nearly the same results (about 10° 20^) ; 
but, in order to verify my observations, I was curi- 
ous to learn how they accorded with his own work- 
ing, and accordingly inquired of hun what he made 
the variation of the compass in that particular local- 
ity. He seemed struck with astonishment, took his 
compass from his back and laid it upon a log near 
by, then facing me, and pointing with his hand to- 
ward it, said, 

" Straanger, do yer see that thar m^ivvi-ment .^" 
to which I rephed in the affirmative. He continued, 

" I've o^vned her well-nigh goin on twenty year. 
I've put her through the perarries and through the 
timber, and now look yeer, straanger, you can just 
bet your life on't she never var-rie^ arry time, and 
if you'll just follow her sign you'll knock the centre 
outer the north star. She never lies, she don't." 

He seemed to consider my interrogatory as a di- 
rect insinuation that his compass was an imperfect 
one, and hence his indignation. Thinking that I 
should not get any very important intelligence con- 
cerning the variation of the needle from this sur- 
veyor, I begged his pardon for questioning the ac- 
curacy of his instru-we?i^, bid him good-mornmg, 
and continued on ray journey. 



In 1849 I met with a very interesting specimen 
of the Delaware tribe whose name was Black Bea- 
ver. He had for ten years been in the employ of 
the American Fm- Company, and during this time 
had visited nearly every point of interest within the 
limits of our unsettled territory. He had set his 
traps and spread his blanket upon the head waters 
of the Missouri and Columbia ; and his wanderings 
had led him south to the Colorado and Gila, and 
thence to the shores of the Pacific in Southern Cal- 
ifornia. His life had been that of a veritable cos- 
mopolite, filled with scenes of intense and start- 
ling interest, bold and reckless adventure. He was 
with me two seasons in the capacity of guide, and 
I always found him perfectly reliable, brave, and 
competent. His reputation as a resolute, determ- 
ined, and fearless warrior did not admit of question, 
yet I have never seen a man who wore his laurels 
with less vanity. 

When I first made his acquaintance I was puzzled 
to know what to think of him. He would often, in 
speaking of the Prairie Lidians, say to me, 

" Captain, if you have a fight, you mustn't count 
much on me, for I'ze a big coward. When the 
fight begins I 'spect you'll see me run under the 
cannon ; Injun mighty 'fraid of big gun." 

I expressed my surprise that he should, if what 
he told me was true, have gained such a reputation 


as a warrior ; whereupon lie iiiformecl me that many 
years previous, when he was a young man, and be- 
fore he had ever been in battle, he, with about twen- 
ty white men and four Delawares, were at one of the 
Fur Company's trading-posts upon the Upper Mis- 
souri, engaged in trapping beaver. While there, 
the stockade fort was attacked by a numerous band 
of Blackfeet Indians, who fought bravely, and seem- 
ed determined to annihilate the little band that de- 
fended it. 

After the investment had been completed, and 
there appeared no probability of the attacking 
party's abandoning their purpose, " One d — d fool 
Delaware" (as Black Beaver expressed it) proposed 
to his countrymen to make a sortie, and thereby 
endeavor to effect an impression upon the Black- 
feet. This, Beaver said, was the last thing he 
would ever have thought of suggesting, and it 
startled him prodigiously, causing him to tremble 
so much that it was with difficulty he could 

He had, however, started from home with the 
fixed purpose of becoming a distmguished brave, 
and made a great effort to stifle his emotion. He 
assumed an air of determination, saying that was 
the very idea he was just about to propose ; and, 
slapping his comrades upon the back, started to- 
ward the gate, telling them to follow. As soon as 
the gate was passed, he says, he took particular 
care to keep in the rear of the others, so that, in 


the event of a retreat, he would be able to reach 
the stockade first. 

They had not proceeded far before a perfect 
shower of arrows came fallmg around them on all 
sides, but, fortunately, without doing them harm. 
Not fancying this hot reception, those in front pro- 
posed an immediate retreat, to which he most glad- 
ly acceded, and at once set off at his utmost speed, 
expecting to reach the fort first. But he soon dis- 
covered that his comrades were more fleet, and 
were rapidly passing and leaving him behind. Sud- 
denly he stopped and called out to them, " Come 
back here, you cowards, you squaws ; what for you 
run away and leave brave man to fight alone?" 
This taunting appeal to their courage turned them 
back, and, with their united efforts, they succeeded 
in beating off the enemy immediately around them, 
securing their entrance into the fort. 

Beaver says when the gate was closed the cap- 
tain in charge of the establishment grasped him 
warmly by the hand, saying, " Black Beaver, you 
are a brave man ; you have done this day what no 
other man in the fort would have the courage to do, 
and I thank you from the bottom of my heart." 

In relating the circumstance to me he laughed 
most heartily, thinking it a very good joke, and 
said after that he was regarded as a brave war- 

The truth is, my friend Beaver was one of those 
few heroes who never sounded his own trumpet; 


yet no one that knows him ever presumed to ques- 
tion his courage. 

At another time, while Black Beaver remained 
upon the head waters of the Missouri, he was left 
in charge of a " cache''' consisting of a quantity of 
goods buried to prevent their being stolen by the 
Indians. Duruig the time he was engaged upon 
this duty he amused himself by hunting in the vi- 
cinity, only visiting his charge once a day. As he 
was making one of these periodical visits, and had 
arrived upon the summit of a hiU overlooking the 
locality, he suddenly discovered a large number of 
hostile Blackfeet occupying it, and he supposed they 
had appropriated aU the goods. As soon as they 
espied hhn, they beckoned for him to come down 
and have a friendly chat with them. 

Knowing that their purpose was to beguile him 
into their power, he replied that he did not feel in 
a talking humor just at that time, and started off 
in another direction, whereupon they haUooed after 
him, making use of the most insulting language and 
gestures, and asking him if he considered himself a 
man thus to run away from his friends, and inti- 
mating that, in their opinion, he was an old woman, 
who had "better go home and take care of the chil- 

Beaver says this roused his indignation to such a 
pitch that he stopped, turned around, and rephed, 
" Maybe so ; s'pose three or four of you Injuns 
come up here alone, I'll show you if I'ze old wom- 


ans." They did not, however, accept the challenge, 
and Beaver rode off. 

Although the Delawares generally seem quite 
happy in their social relations, yet they are not al- 
together exempt from some of those minor discords 
which occasionally creep m and mar the domestic 
harmony of their more civiUzed pale-faced brethren. 

I remember, upon one occasion, I had bivouacked 
for the night with Black Beaver, and he had been 
endeavoring to while away the long hours of the 
evening by relating to me some of the most thrill- 
ing incidents of his highly-adventurous and erratic 
life, when at length a hiatus in the conversation 
gave me an op^jortunity of asking him if he was a 
married man. He hesitated for some time ; then 
looking up and giving his forefinger a twirl, to imi- 
tate the throwing of a lasso, replied, "One time 
me catch 'mn wife. I Y>n.j that woman, his modeler^ 
one hoss — one saddle — one bridle — two plug tobac- 
co, and plenty goods. I take him home to my 
house — got plenty meat — plenty corn — plenty every 
thing. One time me go take walk, maybe so three, 
maybe so two hours. When I come home, that 
woman he say, 'Black Beaver, what for you go 
way long time ?' I say, ' I not go nowhere ; I just 
take one littel walk.' Then that woman he get 
heap mad, and say, 'No, Black Beaver, you not 
take no littel walk. I know what for you go way ; 
you go see nodder one woman.'' I say, ' Maybe not.' 
Then that woman she cry long time, and all e'time 


now slie macl. You never seen 'Merican woman 
that a-way ?" 

I sympathized most deeply with my friend in his 
distress, and told him for his consolation that, in 
my opinion, the women of his nation were not pe- 
culiar in this respect ; that they were pretty much 
alike all over the world, and I was under the im- 
pression that there were well-authenticated instances 
even among white women where they had subjected 
themselves to the same causes of complaint so feel- 
ingly depicted by him. Whereupon he very earn- 
estly asked, " What you do for cure him ? Whip 
him ?" I replied, " No ; that, so far as my observa- 
tion extended, I was under the impression that this 
Avas generally regarded by those who had suffered 
from its effects as one of those chronic and vexa- 
tious complaints which would not be benefited by 
the treatment he suggested, even when adminis- 
tered in homoeopathic doses, and I believed it was 
now admitted by all sensible men that it was better 
in all such cases to let nature take its course, trust- 
ing to a merciful Providence." 

At this reply his countenance assumed a dejected 
expression, but at length he brightened up again 
and triumj^hantly remarked, " I tell you, my friend, 
what I do ; I ketch 'um nodder one wife when I 
go home." 

Black Beaver had visited St. Louis and the small 
towns upon the Missouri frontier, and he prided 
himself not a little upon his acquaintance with the 


customs of the whites, and never seemed more hap- 
py than when an opportunity offered to display this 
knowledge in presence of his Indian companions. 
It so happened, upon one occasion, that I had a 
Comanche guide who bivouacked at the same fire 
with Beaver. On visiting them one evening ac- 
cording to my usual practice, I found them engaged 
in a very earnest and api^arently not very amicable 
conversation. On inquiring the cause of this, Bea- 
ver answered, 

"I've been telling this Comanche what I seen 
'mong the white folks." 

I said, " Well, Beaver, what did you tell him ?" 

"I tell him 'bout the steam-boats, and the rail- 
roads, and the heap o' houses I seen in St. Louis." 

'* Well, sir, what does he thmk of that ?" 

"Hesay I'ze d— d fool." 

" What else did you tell him about ?" 

" I tell him the world is round, but he keep all 
e'time say. Hush, you fool ! do you spose I'ze child ? 
Haven't I got eyes ? Can't I see the prairie ? You 
call him round ? He say, too, maybe so I tell you 
something you not know before. One time my 
grandfather he make long journey that way (point- 
mg to the west). When he get on big mountain, 
he seen heap water on t'other side, jest so flat he 
can be, and he seen the sun go right straight down 
on t'other side. I then tell him all these rivers he 
seen, all e'time the water he rmi ; s'pose the world 
flat the water he stand still. Maybe so he not 
b'heve me ?" 


I told him it certainly looked very much like it. 
I then asked him to explain to the Comanche the 
magnetic telegraph. He looked at me earnestly, 
and said, 

" What you call that magnetic telegraph ?" 

I said, " you have heard of New York and IsTew 
Orleans ?" 

" Oh yes," he replied. 

" Very well ; we have a wire connecting these 
two cities, which are about a thousand miles apart, 
and it would take a man thirty days to ride it upon 
a good horse. Now a man stands at one end of this 
wire in New York, and by touching it a few times 
he inquires of his friend in New Orleans what he 
had for breakfast. His friend in New Orleans 
touches the other end of the wire, and in ten min- 
utes the answer comes back — ham and eggs. Tell 
him that, Beaver." 

His countenance assumed a most comical expres- 
sion, but he made no remark until I again requested 
him to repeat what I had said to the Comanche, 
when he observed, 

" No, captain, I not tell hun that, for I don't 
b'lieve that myself." 

Upon my assurmg him that such was the fact, 
and that I had seen it myself, he said, 

" Injun not very smart ; sometimes he's big fool, 
but he holler pretty loud ; you hear him maybe half 
a mile; you say 'Merican man he talk thousand 
miles. I 'spect you try to fool me now, captam; 
mayhe so yoic lieP 


The Indians living between the outer white set- 
tlements and the nomadic tribes of the Plains form 
intermediate social links in the chain of civilization. 

The first of these occupy permanent habitations, 
but the others, although they cultivate the soil, are 
only resident while their crops are growmg, going 
out into the prairies after harvest to spend the win- 
ter in hunting. Among the former may be men- 
tioned the Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, and Chick- 
asaws, and of the latter are the Dela wares, Shaw- 
nees, Kickapoos, etc., who are perfectly familiar 
with the use of the rifle, and, in my judgment, 
would make as formidable partisan warriors as can 
be found m the universe. 


These are very diflerent in their habits from the 
natives that formerly occupied the country border- 
ing upon the Atlantic coast. The latter lived per- 
manently in villages, where they cultivated the soil, 
and never wandered very far from them. They 
did not use horses, but always made their war ex- 
peditions on foot, and never came into action unless 
they could screen themselves behind the cover of 
trees. They inflicted the most inhuman tortures 
upon their prisoners, but did not, that I am aware, 
violate the chastity of women. 

The prairie tribes have no permanent abiding 
places ; they never plant a seed, but roam for hund- 
reds of miles in every direction over the Plains. 


They are perfect horsemen, and seldom go to war 
on foot. Their attacks are made m the open prai- 
ries, and when unhorsed they are powerless. They 
do not, like the eastern Indians, inflict ujoon their 
prisoners prolonged tortures, but invariably subject 
all females that have the misfortune to fall into their 
merciless clutches to an ordeal worse than death. 

It is highly important to every man passmg 
through a country frequented by Indians to know 
some of their habits, customs, and propensities, as 
this will facilitate his intercourse with friendly 
tribes, and enable him, when he wishes to avoid a 
conflict, to take precautions against coming in col- 
lison with those who are hostile. 

Almost every tribe has its own way of construct- 
ing its lodges, encamping, making fires, its own 
style of dress, by some of which peculiarities the 
experienced frontiersman can generally distinguish 

The Osages, for example, make their lodges in 
the shape of a wagon-top, of bent rods or willows 
covered with skins, blankets, or the bark of trees. 

The Kickapoo lodges are made in an oval form, 
something like a rounded hay-stack, of poles set in 
the ground, bent over, and united at top ; this is 
covered with cloths or bark. 

The Witchetaws, Wacos, Towackanies, and Ton- 
kowas erect their hunting lodges of sticks put up in 
the form of the frustum of a cone and covered with 


All these tribes leave the frame-work of then* 
lodges standing when they move from camj) to 
camj), and this, of com'se, indicates the j^articiilar 
tribe that erected them. 

The Delawares and Shawnees plant two upright 
forked poles, place a stick across them, and stretch 
a canvas covermg over it, in the same manner as 
with the " tente cVahrV 

The Sioux, Arapahoes, Cheyennes, Utes, Snakes, 
Blackfeet, and Kioways make use of the Comanche 
lodge, covered with dressed buiFalo hides. 

All the Prairie Indians I have met with are the 
most inveterate beggars. They will flock around 
strangers, and, in the most importunate manner, 
ask for every thing they see, especially tobacco and 
sugar ; and, if allowed, they will handle, examine, 
and occasionally pilfer such things as happen to take 
their fancy. The j^roper way to treat them is to 
give them at once such articles as are to be disposed 
of, and then, in a firm and decided manner, let them 
understand that they are to receive nothmg else. 

A party of Keechis once visited my camp w^ith 
their principal chief, who said he had some import- 
ant business to discuss, and demanded a council 
with the capitmi. After consent had been given, 
he assembled his principal men, and, going through 
the usual preliminary of taldng a hig sniolie^ he 
arose, and with a great deal of ceremony com- 
menced his pompous and flowery speech, which, 
like all others of a similar character, amounted to 


nothing, nntil he touched upon the real object of 
his visit. He said he had traveled a long distance 
over the prairies to see and have a talk with his 
white brothers ; that his people were very hungry 
and naked. He then approached me with six small 
sticks, and, after shaking hands, laid one of the 
sticks in my hand, which he said represented sugar, 
another signified tobacco, and the other four, pork, 
flour, whisky, and blankets, all of which he assured 
me his people were in great need of, and must have. 
His talk was then concluded, and he sat down, ap- 
parently much gratified with the graceful and im- 
pressive manner with which he had executed his 
part of the performance. 

It then devolved upon me to respond to the bril- 
liant effort of the prairie orator, which I did in some- 
thing like the following manner. After imitating 
his style for a short time, I closed my remarks by 
telling him that we were j^oor infantry soldiers, who 
were always obliged to go on foot ; that we had be- 
come very tired of walking, and would like very 
much to ride. Furthermore, I had observed that 
they had among them many fine horses and mules. 
I then took two small sticks, and imitating as near- 
ly as possible the manner of the chief, placed one 
in his hand, which I told him was nothing more or 
less than a first-rate horse, and then the other, which 
signified a good large mule. I closed by saying 
that I was ready to exchange presents whenever it 
suited his convenience. 


They looked at each other for some time without 
speaking, but finally got up and walked away, and 
I was not troubled with them again. 


The military system, as taught and practiced in 
our army up to the time of the Mexican war, was, 
without doubt, efficient and well adapted to the art 
of war among civiHzed nations. This system was 
designed for the operations of armies acting in 
populated districts, furnishing ample resources, and 
against an enemy who was tangible, and made use 
of a similar system. 

The vast expanse of desert territory that has been 
annexed to our domain within the last few years is 
peopled by numerous tribes of marauding and er- 
ratic savages, who are mounted upon fleet and hardy 
horses, making w^ar the business and pastime of 
their hves, and acknowledging none of the amelio- 
rating conventionaHties of civilized warfare. Their 
tactics are such as to render the old system almost 
wholly impotent. 

To act against an enemy w^ho is here to-day and 
there to-morrow ; w^ho at one time stampedes a herd 
of mules upon the head Avaters of the Arkansas, and 
when next heard from is in the very heart of the 
populated districts of Mexico, laying waste hacien- 
das, and carrying devastation, rapine, and murder in 
his steps ; who is every where without being any 
where ; who assembles at the moment of combat, 


find vanishes whenever fortune turns agahist hmi ; 
who leaves his women and children far distant from 
the theatre of hostilities, and has neither towns or 
magazines to defend, nor lines of retreat to cover ; 
who derives his commissariat from the country he 
operates in, and is not encumbered with baggage- 
wagons or pack-trains ; who comes into action only 
when it suits his purposes, and never without the 
advantage of numbers or position — with such an 
enemy the strategic science of civilized nations loses 
much of its importance, and finds but rarely, and 
only in peculiar localities, an opportunity to be j^ut 
in practice. 

Our little army, scattered as it has been over the 
vast area of our possessions, in small garrisons of 
one or two companies each, has seldom been in a 
situation to act successfully on the ofiensive against 
large numbers of these marauders, and has often 
been condemned to hold itself almost exclusively 
upon the defensive. The morale of the troo23S must 
thereby necessarily be seriously impaired, and the 
confidence of the savages correspondingly augment- 
ed. The system of small garrisons has a tendency 
to disorganize the troops in proportion as they are 
scattered, and renders them correspondingly inefii- 
cient. The same results have been observed by the 
French army in Algeria, where, in 1845, their troops 
were, like ours, disseminated over a vast space, and 
broken up into small detachments stationed in nu- 
merous intrenched posts. Upon the sudden appear- 


ance of Abd el Kader in the plain of Mitidja, they 
were defeated with serious losses, and were from 
day to day obliged to abandon these useless star 
tions, with aU the suppHes they contained. A French 
writer, in discussing this subject, says : 

"We have now abandoned the fatal idea of de- 
fending Algeria by small intrenched posts. In 
studying the character of the war, the nature of 
the men who are to oppose us, and of the country 
in which we are to operate, we must be convinced 
of the danger of admitting any other system of 
fortification than that which is to receive our grand 
depots, our magazines, and to serve as places to 
recruit and rest our troops when exhausted by long 
expeditionary movements. 

" These fortifications should be established m the 
midst of the centres of action, so as to command 
the principal routes, and serve as pivots to expedi- 
tionary columns. 

" We owe our success to a system of war which 
has its proofs in twice changing our relations with 
the Arabs. This system consists altogether in the 
great mobility we have given to our troops. In- 
stead of disseminating our soldiers with the vain 
hope of protecting our frontiers with a line of small 
posts, we have concentrated them, to have them at 
all times ready for emergencies, and since then the 
fortune of the Arabs has waned, and we have 
marched from victory to victory. 

" This system, which has thus far succeeded, ought 
to succeed always, and to conduct us, God wiUiug, 
to the peaceful possession of the country." 

In readmg a treatise upon war as it is practiced 
by the French in Algeria, by Colonel A. Laure, of 


the 2d Algerine Tirailleurs, published in Paris in 
1858, I was struck with the remarkable similarity 
between the habits of the Arabs and those of the 
wandering tribes that inhabit our Western prairies. 
Their mamier of making war is almost precisely the 
same, and a successful system of strategic operations 
for one will, in my opinion, apply to the other. 

As the Turks have been more successful than the 
French in their military operations against the Arab 
tribes, it may not be altogether uninteresting to 
inquire by what means these inferior soldiers have 
accomplished the best results. 

The author above mentioned, in speaking upon 
this subject, says : 

" In these latter days the world is occupied with 
the organization of mounted infantry, according to 
the example of the Turks, where, in the most suc- 
cessful experiments that have been made, the mule 
carries the foot-soldier. 

" The Turkish soldier mounts his mule, puts his 
provisions upon one side and his accoutrements 
upon the other, and, thus equipped, sets out upon 
long marches, traveling day and night, and only re- 
posing occasionally in bivouac. Arrived near the 
place of operations (as near the break of day as 
possible), the Turks dismount in the most profound 
silence, and pass in succession the bridle of one 
mule through that of another in such a manner 
that a single man is sufficient to hold forty or fifty 
of them by retaining the last bridle, which secures 
all the others ; they then examine their arms, and 
are ready to commence their work. The chief 


gives his last orders, posts his guides, and they 
make the attack, surprise the enemy, generally 
asleep, and carry the position without resistance. 
The operation terminated, they hasten to beat a 
retreat, to prevent the neighboring tribes from as- 
sembhng, and thus avoid a combat. 

"The Turks had only three thousand mounted 
men and ten thousand infantry in Algeria, yet these 
thirteen thousand men sufficed to conquer the same 
obstacles which have arrested us for twenty-six 
years, notwithstanding the advantage we had of 
an army which was successively re-enforced until it 
amounted to a hundred thousand. 

"Why not imitate the Turks, then, mount our 
infantry upon mules, and reduce the strength of our 
army ? 

" The response is very simple : 

" The Turks are Turks — that is to say, Mussul- 
mans — and indigenous to the country ; the Turks 
speak the Arabic language ; the Deys of Algiers had 
less country to guard than we, and they care A^ery 
little about retaining possession of it. They are sat- 
isfied to receive a part of its revenues. They were 
not permanent ; their dominion was held by a thread. 
The Arab dwells in tents ; his magazines are in 
caves. When he starts upon a war expedition, he 
folds his tent, drives far away his beasts of burden, 
which transport his effects, and only carries with 
him his horse and arms. Thus equipped, he goes 
every where ; nothing arrests him ; and often, when 
we believe him twenty leagues distant, he is in am- 
bush at precisely rifle range from the flanks of his 

"It may be thought the union of contingents 
might retard their movements, but this is not so. 
The Arabs, whether they number ten or a hund- 


red thousand, move with equal facility. They go 
where they wish and as they wish upon a campaign ; 
the place of rendezvous merely is indicated, and they 
arrive there. 

" What calculations can be made against such an 
organization as this ? 

" Strategy evidently loses its advantages against 
such enemies ; a general can only make conjectures ; 
he marches to find the Arabs, and finds them not ; 
then, again, when he least exj^ects it, he suddenly 
encounters them. 

" When the Arab despairs of success in battle, 
he places his sole reliance upon the speed of his 
horse to escape destruction ; and as he is always in 
a country where he can make his camp beside a 
little Avater, he travels until he has placed a safe 
distance between himself and his enemy." 

ISTo people probably on the face of the earth are 
more ambitious of martial fame, or entertain a high- 
er appreciation for the deeds of a daring and suc- 
cessful warrior, than the North American savages. 
The attainment of such reputation is the paramount 
and absorbing object of their lives ; all their aspira- 
tions for distinction uivariably take this channel of 
expression. A young man is never considered wor- 
thy to occupy a seat in council until he has en- 
countered an enemy in battle ; and he who can 
count the greatest number of scalps is the most 
highly honored by his tribe. This idea is incul- 
cated from their earliest infancy. It is not surpris- 
ing, therefore, that, with such weighty inducements 
before him, the young man who, as yet, has gained 


no renown as a brave or warrior, should be less dis- 
criminate in his attacks than older men who have 
already acquired a name. The yomig braves should, 
therefore, be closely watched when encountered on 
the Plains. 

The prairie tribes are seldom at peace with all 
their neighbors, and some of the young braves of a 
tribe are almost always absent upon a war excur- 
sion. These forays sometimes extend into the heart 
of the northern states of Mexico, where the In- 
dians have carried on successful invasions for many 
years. They have devastated and depopulated a 
great portion of Sonora and Chihuahua. The ob- 
jects of these forays are to steal horses and mules, 
and to take prisoners ; and if it so hapj^ens that a 
war-party has been unsuccessful in the accomplish- 
ment of these ends, or has had the misfortune to 
lose some of its number in battle, they become reck- 
less, and will often attack a small party with whom 
they are not at war, provided they hoj)e to escape 
detection. The disgrace attendant upon a return 
to their friends without some trophies as an offset 
to the loss of their comrades is a powerful incentive 
to action, and they extend but little mercy to de- 
fenseless travelers who have the misfortune to en- 
counter them at such a conjuncture. 

While en route from New Mexico to Arkansas 
in 1849 I was encamped near the head of the Colo- 
rado River, and wishing to know the character of 
the country for a few miles m advance of our posi- 


tion, I desired an officer to go out and make the 
reconnoissance. I was lying sick in my bed at the 
time, or I should have performed the duty myself. 
I expected the officer would have taken an escort 
with him, but he omitted to do so, and started off 
alone. After proceeding a short distance he dis- 
covered four mounted Indians coming at full speed 
directly toward him, when, instead of turning his 
own horse toward camp, and endeavoring to make 
his escape (he was well mounted), or of halting and 
assuming a defensive attitude, he deliberately rode 
up to them; after which the tracks indicated that 
they proceeded about three miles together, when the 
Lidians most brutally killed and scalped my most 
unfortunate but too credulous friend, who might 
probably have saved his life had he not, in the kind- 
ness of his excellent heart, imagined that the sav- 
ages would reciprocate his friendly advances. He 
was most woefully mistaken, and his life paid the 
forfeit of his generous and noble dis230sition. 

I have never been able to get any positive inform- 
ation as to the persons who committed this murder, 
yet circumstances render it highly probable that 
they were a party of young Indians who were re- 
turning from an unsuccessful foray, and they were 
unable to resist the temptation of taking the scalp 
and horse of the lieutenant. 

A small number of white men, in traveling upon 
the Plains, should not allow a j)arty of strange In- 
dians to approach them unless able to resist an at- 
tack under the most unfavorable circumstances. 


It is a safe rule, when a man finds himself alone 
in the prairies, and sees a party of Indians approach- 
ing, not to allow them to come near him, and if 
they persist in so doing, to signal them to keep away. 
If they do not obey, and he be mounted upon a 
fleet horse, he should make for the nearest timber. 
If the Indians follow and press him too closely, he 
should halt, turn around, and point his gun at the 
foremost, which will often have the effect of turn- 
ing them back, but he should never draw trigger 
unless he finds that his life depends upon the shot ; 
for, as soon as his shot is delivered, his sole depend- 
ence, unless he have time to reload, must be upon 
the speed of his horse. 

The Indians of the Plains, notwithstanding the 
encomiums that have been heaped upon their breth- 
ren who formerly occupied the Eastern States for 
their gratitude, have not, so far as I have observed, 
the most distant conception of that sentiment. You 
may confer numberless benefits upon them for years, 
and the more that is done for them the more they 
will expect. They do not seem to comprehend the 
motive which dictates an act of benevolence or 
charity, and they invariably attribute it to fear or 
the expectation of reward. Wlien they make a 
present, it is with a view of getting more than its 
equivalent in return. 

I have never yet been able to discover that the 
Western wild tribes possessed any of those attributes 
which among civilized nations are regarded as vir- 


/i/l/ '^^^M^'h 



tues adorning the human character. They have yet 
to be taught the first rudiments of civilization, and 
they are at this time as far from any knowledge of 
Christianity, and as worthy subjects for missionary 
enterprise, as the most untutored natives of the 
South Sea Islands. 

The only way to make these merciless freebooters 
fear or respect the authority of our government is, 
when they misbehave, first of all to chastise them 
well by striking such a blow as will be felt for a long 
time, and thus show them that we are superior to 
them in war. They will then respect us much more 
than when their good-will is purchased with pres- 

The opinion of a friend of mine, who has passed 
the last twenty-five years of his life among the In- 
dians of the Rocky Mountains, corroborates the 
opinions I have advanced upon this head, and al- 
though I do not endorse all of his sentiments, yet 
many of them are deduced from long and matured 
experience and critical observation. He says : 

" They are the most onsartainest varmmts in all 
creation, and I reckon tha'r not mor'n half human ; 
for you never seed a human, arter you'd fed and 
treated him to the best fixins m your lodge, jist 
turn round and steal all your horses, or ary other 
thing he could lay his hands on. No, not adzackly. 
He would feel kinder grateful, and ask you to spread 
a blanket in his lodge ef you ever passed that a- way. 
But the Injun he don't care shucks for you, and is 


ready to do you a heap of miscliief as soon as he 
quits your feed. IS'o, Cap.," he continued, " it's not 
the right way to give um presents to buy peace ; 
but ef I war governor of these yeer United States, 
I'll tell you what I'd do. I'd invite um all to a big 
feast, and make b'lieve I wanted to have a big talk ; 
and as soon as I got um all together, I'd pitch in 
and sculp about half of um, and then t'other half 
would be mighty glad to make a peace that would 
stick. That's the way I'd make a treaty with the 
dog' on d, red-bellied varmints; and as sure as you're 
born, Cap., that's the only Avay." 

I sus^g-ested to him the idea that there would be 
a lack of good faith and honor in such a proceed- 
ing, and that it would be much more in accordance 
with my notions of fair dealing to meet them openly 
in the field, and there endeavor to punish them if 
they deserve it. To this he replied, 

" Tain't no use to talk about honor with them, 
Cap. ; they ham't got no such thing in um ; and 
they won't show fair fight, any Avay you can fix it. 
Don't they kill and sculp a white man Avhen-ar they 
get the better on him ? The mean varmints, they'll 
never behave themselves until you give um a clean 
out and out licking. They can't onderstand white 
folks' ways, and they won't learn um ; and ef you 
treat um decently, they think you ar afeard. You 
may depend on't. Cap., the only way to treht Injuns 
is to thrash them well at first, then the balance will 
sorter take to you and behave themselves." 


The wealtli of the Prah'ie Indians consists almost 
exclusively in their horses, of which they possess 
large numbers ; and they are in the saddle from in- 
fancy to old age. Horsemanship is with them, as 
with the Arab of the Sahara, a necessary part of 
their education. The country they occupy is un- 
suited to cultivation, and their only avocations are 
war, rapine, and the chase. They have no fixed 
habitations, but move from place to place with the 
seasons and the game. All their worldly effects 
are transported in their migrations, and wherever 
their lodges are pitched there is their home. They 
are strangers to all cares, creating for themselves 
no artificial wants, and are perfectly happy and con- 
tented so long as the buffalo is found within the 
limits of their wanderings. Every man is a soldier, 
and they generally exhibit great confidence m their 
own military prowess. 


On approaching strangers these people j^ut their 
horses at full speed, and persons not famihar with 
their peculiarities and habits might interpret this 
as an act of hostility ; but it is their custom with 
friends as well as enemies, and should not occasion 
groundless alarm. 

When a party is discovered approaching thus, 
and are near enough to distinguish signals, all that 
is necessary in order to ascertain their disposition 
is to raise the right hand with the palm in front, 


and gradually push it forward and back several 
times. They all understand this to be a command 
to halt, and if they are not hostile it will at once be 

After they have stoj)ped the right hand is raised 
again as before, and slowly moved to the right and 
left, which signifies " I do not know you. Who are 
you?" As all the wild tribes have their peculiar 
pantomimic signals by which they are known, they 
will then answer the inquiry by giving their signal. 
If this should not be understood, they may be asked 
if they are friends by raising both hands grasped 
in the manner of shakmg hands, or by locking the 
two fore-fingers firmly while the hands are held up. 
If friendly, they will respond with the same signal ; 
but if enemies, they will probably disregard the 
command to halt, or give the signal of anger by 
closing the hand, placing it against the forehead, 
and turning it back and forth while in that posi- 

The pantomimic vocabulary is understood by all 
the Prairie Indians, and when oral communication 
is impracticable it constitutes the court or general 
council language of the Plains. The signs are ex- 
ceedingly graceful and significant ; and, what was a 
fact of much astonishment to me, I discovered they 
were very nearly the same as those practiced by 
the mutes in our deaf and dumb schools, and were 
comprehended by them with perfect facility. 

The Comanche is represented by making with 


the hand a waving motion in imitation of the crawl- 
ing of a snake. 

The Cheyenne, or " Cut-arm," by drawing the 
hand across the arm, to imitate cuttmg it with a 

The Arapahoes, or " Smellers," by seizing the nose 
with the thumb and fore-finger. 

The Sioux, or " Cut-throats," by drawing the hand 
across the throat. 

The Pawnees, or " Wolves," by j)lacing a hand 
on each side of the forehead, with two fingers point- 
ing to the front, to represent the narrow, sharp ears 
of the wolf. 

The Crows, by imitating the flapping of the bird's 
wings with the palms of the hands. 

When Indians meet a party of strangers, and are 
disposed to be friendly, the chiefs, after the usual 
salutations have been exchanged, generally ride out 
and accompany the commander of the party some 
distance, holding a friendly talk, and, at the same 
time, indulging their curiosity by learning the news, 
etc. Phlegmatic and indifierent as they appear to 
be, they are very inquisitive and observing, and, at 
the same time, exceedingly circumspect and cau- 
tious about disclosing their own purposes. 

They are always desirous of procuring, from 
whomsoever they meet, testimonials of their good 
behavior, which they preserve with great care, and 
exhibit upon all occasions to strangers as a guaran- 
tee of future good conduct. 


On meeting with a chief of the Southern Coman- 
ches in 1849, after going through the usual cere- 
mony of embracing, and assuring me that he was 
the best friend the Americans ever had among the 
Indians, he exhibited numerous certificates from the 
different white men he had met with, testifying to 
his friendly disposition. Among these was one that 
he desired me to read with special attention, as he 
said he was of the opinion that perhaps it might not 
be so complimentary in its character as some of the 
others. It was in these words : 

" The bearer of this says he is a Comanche chief, named 
Senaco; that he is the biggest Indian and best friend the 
whites ever had ; in fact, that he is a first-rate fellow ; but I 
believe he is a d — d rascal, so look out for him.^^ 

I smiled on reading the paper, and, looking up, 
found the chief's eyes intently fixed upon mine 
with an expression of the most earnest inquiry. I 
told him the paper was not as good as it might be, 
whereupon he destroyed it. 

Five years after this interview I met Senaco 
again near the same place. He recognized me at 
once, and, much to my surprise, pronounced my 
name quite distinctly. 

A circumstance which happened in my interview 
with this Indian shows their character for diplo- 
matic policy. 

I was about locating and surveying a reservation 
of land upon which the government designed to es- 
tablish the Comanches, and was desirous of ascer- 


taining whether they were disposed vohmtarily to 
come into the measure. In this connection, I stated 
to him that their Great Father, the President, being 
anxious to improve their condition, was wilHng to 
give them a permanent location, w^here they could 
cultivate the soil, and, if they Avished it, he would 
send white men to teach them the rudiments of ag- 
riculture, supply them with farming utensils, and 
all other requisites for living comfortably in their 
new homes. I then desired him to consult with his 
people, and let me know what their views were 
upon the subject. 

After talking a considerable time with his head 
men, he rose to reply, and said, " He was very hap- 
py to learn that the President remembered his poor 
red children in the Plains, and he was glad to see 
me again, and hear from me that their Great Father 
was their friend ; that he was also very much grat- 
ified to meet his agent who was present, and that 
he should remember with much satisfaction the 
agreeable interview we had had upon that occa- 
sion." After delivering himself of numerous other 
non-committal expressions of similar import, he 
closed his speech and took his seat without making 
the sHghtest allusion to the subject in question. 

On reminding him of this omission, and again de- 
manding from him a distinct and categorical an- 
swer, he, after a brief consultation with his people, 
replied that liis talk was made and concluded, and 
]ie did not comprehend why it was that I wanted 


to open the subject anew. But, as I continued to 
press him for an answer, he at length said, " You 
come into our country and select a small patch of 
ground, around which you run a line, and tell us 
the President will make us a present of this to live 
upon, when every body knows that the whole of 
this entire country, from the Red River to the Col- 
orado, is now, and always has been, ours from time 
immemorial. I suppose, however, if the President 
tells us to confine ourselves to these narrow limits, 
we shall be forced to do so, whether we desire it or 

He was evidently averse to the proposed change 
in then* mode of life, and has been at war ever since 
the establishment of the settlement. 

The mode of life of the nomadic tribes, owing to 
their unsettled and warlike habits, is such as to ren- 
der their condition one of constant danger and ap- 
prehension. The security of their numerous ani- 
mals from the encroachments of their enemies and 
habitual liability to attacks compels them to be at 
all times upon the alert. Even during profound 
peace they guard their herds both night and day, 
while scouts are often patrolling upon the surround- 
ing heights to give notice of the approach of 
strangers, and enable them to secure their animals 
and take a defensive attitude. 

When one of these people conceives himself in- 
jured his thirst for revenge is insatiable. Grave 
and dignified in his outward bearing, and priding 


himself uj^on never exhibiting curiosity, joy, or an- 
ger, yet when once roused he evinces the implaca- 
ble dispositions of his race ; the affront is laid up 
and cherished in his breast, and nothing can efface 
it from his mind until ample reparation is made. 
The insult must be atoned for by presents, or be 
washed out with blood. 


When a chief desires to organize a war-party, he 
provides himself with a long pole, attaches a red 
flag to the end of it, and trims the top with eagle 
feathers. He then mounts his horse in his war-cos- 
tume, and rides around through the camp singing 
the war-song. Those who are disposed to join the 
expedition mount tlieir horses and fall into the pro- 
cession; after parading about for a time, aU dis- 
mount, and the war-dance is performed. This cer- 
emony is continued from day to day until a suffi- 
cient number of volunteers are found to accomplish 
the objects desired, when they set out for the thea- 
tre of their intended exploits. 

As they proceed upon their expedition, it some- 
times haj)pens that the chief with whom it origi- 
nated, and who invariably assumes the command, 
becomes discouraged at not finding an opportunity 
of displaying his warlike abilities, and abandons the 
enterprise ; in which event, if others of the party 
desire to proceed farther, they select another lead- 
er and push on, and thus so long as any one of the 
party holds out. 


A war-party is sometimes absent for a great 
length of time, and for days, weeks, and months 
their friends at home anxiously await their return, 
until, suddenly, from afar, the shrill war-cry of an 
avant courier is heard proclaiming the approach 
of the victorious warriors. The camp is in an in- 
stant alive with excitement and commotion. Men, 
women, and children swarm out to meet the ad- 
vancing party. Their white horses are painted and 
decked out in the most fantastic style, and led in 
advance of the triumphal procession ; and, as they 
pass around through the village, the old women set 
up a most unearthly howl of exultation, after which 
the scalp-dance is performed with all the pomp and 
display their limited resources admit of, the war- 
riors having their faces painted black. 

When, on the other hand, the expedition termi- 
nates disastrously by the loss of some of the party 
in battle, the relatives of the deceased cut off their 
own hair, and the tails and manes of their horses, 
as symbols of mourning, and howl and cry for a 
long time. 

In 1854 I saw the widow of a former chief of the 
Southern Comanches, whose husband had been dead 
about three years, yet she continued her mourning 
tribute to his memory by crying daily for him and 
refusing all offers to marry again. 

The prairie warrior is occasionally seen with the 
rifle in his hand, but his fivorite arm is the bow, 
the use of which is taught him at an early age. By 


constant practice he acquires a skill in archery that 
renders him no less formidable in war than success- 
ful in the chase. Their bows are usually made of 
the tough and elastic wood of the " hois d?are!^'' 
strengthened and re-enforced with sinews of the 
deer wrapped firmly around, and strung with a 
cord of the same material. They are from three to 
four feet long. The arrows, which are carried in a 
quiver upon the back, are about twenty inches 
long, of flexible wood, with a triangular iron point 
at one end, and at the other two feathers intersect- 
ing at right angles. 

At short distances (about fifty yards), the bow, in 
the hands of the Indian, is effective, and in close 
proximity with the buffalo throws the arrow entire- 
ly through his huge carcass. In using this Aveapon 
the warrior protects himself from the missiles of 
his enemy with a shield made of two thicknesses of 
undressed buffalo hide filled in with hair. 

The Comanches, Sioux, and other prairie tribes 
make their attacks upon the open prairies. Trust- 
ing to their wonderful skill in equitation and horse- 
manship, they ride around their enemies with their 
bodies thrown upon the opposite side of the horse, 
and discharge their arrows in rapid succession while 
at full speed ; they will not, however, often venture 
near an enemy who occupies a defensive position. 
If, therefore, a small party be in danger of an at- 
tack from a large force of Indians, they should seek 
the cover of timber or a park of wagons, or, m the 


absence of these, rocks or holes in the prairie which 
afford good cover. 

Attempts to stampede animals are often made 
when parties first arrive in camp, and when every- 
one's attention is preoccupied in the arrangements 
therewith connected. In a country mfested by hos- 
tile Indians, the ground in the vicuiity of which it 
is proposed to encamp should be cautiously exam- 
ined for tracks and other Indian sights by making a 
circuit around the locality previous to unharnessing 
the animals. 

After Indians have succeeded in stampeding a 
herd of horses or mules, and desire to drive them 
away, they are in the habit of pushing them for- 
ward as rapidly as possible for the first few days, m 
order to place a wide mterval between themselves 
and any party that may be in pursuit. 

In running off stolen animals, the Indians are 
generally divided into two parties, one for driving 
and the other to act as a rear guard. Before they 
reach a place where they propose making a halt, 
they leave a vidette upon some prominent i)omt to 
watch for pursuers and give the main party timely 
warning, enabling them to rally their animals and 
push forward again. 

When an Indian sentinel intends to watch for an 
enemy approachmg from the rear, he selects the 
highest position available, and places himself near 


the summit in such an attitude that his entire body 
shall be concealed from the observation of any one 
in the rear, his head only being exposed above the 
top of the eminence. Here he awaits with great 
patience so long as he thinks there is any possibili- 
ty of danger, and it will be difficult for an enemy to 
surprise him or to elude his keen and scrutinizing 
vigilance. Meanwhile his horse is secured under 
the screen of the hill, all ready when required. 
Hence it will be evident that, in following Indian 
depredators, the utmost vigilance and caution must 
be exercised to conceal from them the movements 
of their pursuers. They are the best scouts in the 
world, proficient in all the artifices and stratagems 
available in border warfare, and when hotly pur- 
sued by a superior force, after exhausting all other 
means of evasion, they scatter in difi*erent direc- 
tions ; and if, in a broken or mountainous country, 
they can do no better, abandon their horses and 
baggage, and take refuge in the rocks, gorges, or 
other hiding-places. This plan has several times 
been resorted to by Indians in Texas when sur- 
prised, and, notwithstanding their pursuers were 
directly upon them, the majority made their escape, 
leaving behind all their animals and other property. 
For overtaking a marauding party of Indians 
who have advanced eio^ht or ten hours before the 
pursuing party are in readiness to take the trail, it 
is not best to push forward rapidly at first, as this 
will weary and break down horses. The Indians 


must be supposed to have at least fifty or sixty 
miles the start ; it will, therefore, be useless to think 
of overtaking them without providmg for a long 
chase. Scouts should continually be kept out in 
front upon the trail to reconnoitre and give precon- 
certed signals to the main party when the Lidians 
are espied. 

Li approaching all eminences or undulations in 
the prairies, the commander should be careful not 
to allow any considerable number of his men to 
pass uj^on the summits until the country around has 
been carefully reconnoitred by the scouts, who will 
cautiously raise their eyes above the crests of the 
most elevated points, making a scrutinizing exami- 
nation in all directions ; and, while doing this, 
should an Indian be encountered who has been left 
behind as a sentinel, he must, if possible, be secured 
or shot, to prevent his giving the alarm to his com- 
rades. These precautions can not be too rigidly 
enforced when the trail becomes " warm ;" and if 
there be a moon, it will be better to lie by in the 
daytime and follow the trail at night, as the great 
object is to come upon the Indians when they are 
not anticipating an attack. Such surprises, if dis- 
creetly conducted, generally prove successful. 

As soon as the Indians are discovered in their 
bivouac, the pursuing party should dismount, leave 
their horses under charge of a guard in some se- 
questered place, and, before advancing to the at- 
tack, the men should be instructed in signals for 


their dijBferent movements, such as all will easily 
comprehend and remember. As, for example, a 
pull upon the right arm may signify to face to the 
right, and a pull upon the left arm to face to the 
left ; a pull upon the skirt of the coat, to halt ; a 
gentle push on the back, to advance in ordinary 
time; a slap on the back, to advance in double 
quick time, etc., etc. 

These signals, having been previously well under- 
stood and practiced, may be given by the command- 
er to the man next to him, and from him commimi- 
cated in rapid succession throughout the command. 

I will suppose the party formed in one rank, with 
the commander on the right. He gives the signal, 
and the men move off cautiously in the direction 
indicated. The importance of not losing sight of 
his comrades on his right and left, and of not al- 
lowing them to get out of his reach, so as to break 
the cham of communication, will be apparent to all, 
and great care should be taken that the men do not 
mistake their brothers in arms for the enemy. This 
may be prevented by having two pass-words^ and 
when there be any doubt as to the identity of two 
men who meet during the night operations, one of 
these words may be repeated by each. Above all, 
the men must be fully impressed with the import- 
ance of not firing a shot until the order is given by 
the commanding officer, and also that a rigorous 
personal accountability will be enforced in all cases 
of a violation of this rule. 


If the commander gives the signal for commenc- 
ing the attack by firing a pistol or gun, there will 
probably be no mistake, miless it happens through 
carelessness by the accidental discharge of fire- 

I can conceive of nothing more appalhng, or that 
tends more to throw men off their guard and pro- 
duce confusion, than a sudden and unexjoected 
night-attack. Even the Indians, who pride them- 
selves upon their coolness and self-possession, are 
far from being exempt from its effects ; and it is 
not surprising that men who go to sleep with a 
sense of perfect security around them, and are sud- 
denly aroused from a sound slumber by the terrific 
sounds of an onslaught from an enemy, should lose 
their presence of mind. 


The transparency of the atmosphere upon the 
Plains is such that objects can be seen at great dis- 
tances ; a mountain, for example, presents a distinct 
and bold outline at fifty or sixty miles, and may oc- 
casionally be seen as far as a hundred miles. 

The Indians, availing themselves of this fact, have 
been in the habit of practicing a system of telegraph- 
ing by means of smokes during the day and fires 
by night, and, I dare say, there are but few travel- 
ers who have crossed the mountains to California 
that have not seen these signals made and respond- 
ed to from peak to peak in rapid succession. 


The Indians thus make known to their friends 
many items of information highly important to 
them. If enemies or strangers make their appear- 
ance in the country, the fact is telegraphed at once, 
giving them time to secure their animals and to 
prejoare for attack, defense, or flight. 

War or huntmg parties, after having been absent 
a long time from their erratic friends at home, and 
not knowing where to find them, make use of the 
same preconcerted signals to indicate their presence. 
Very dense smokes may be raised by kmdling a 
large fire with dry wood, and piling upon it the 
green boughs of pine, balsam, or hemlock. This 
throws off" a heavy cloud of black smoke which can 
be seen very far. 

This simple method of telegraphing, so useful to 
the savages both in war and in peace, may, in my 
judgment, be used to advantage in the movements 
of troops co-operating in separate columns in the 
Indian country. 

I shall not attempt at this time to present a ma- 
tured system of signals, but will merely give a few 
suggestions tending to illustrate the advantages to 
be derived from the use of them. 

For example, when two columns are marchmg 
through a country at such distances apart that 
smokes may be seen from one to the other, their 
respective positions may be made known to each 
other at any time by two smokes raised simulta- 
neously or at certain preconcerted intervals. 


Should the commander of one column desire to 
communicate with the other, he raises three smokes 
simultaneously, which, if seen by the other party, 
should be responded to in the same manner. They 
would then hold themselves in readiness for any 
other communications. 

If an enemy is discovered in small numbers, a 
smoke raised twice at fifteen minutes' interval would 
indicate it ; and if in large force, three times with 
the same intervals might be the signal. 

Should the commander of one party desire the 
other to join him, this might be telegraphed by four 
smokes at ten minutes' interval. 

Should it become necessary to change the direc- 
tion of the line of march, the commander may trans- 
mit the order by means of two simultaneous smokes 
raised a certain number of times to indicate the 
particular direction ; for instance, twice for north, 
three times for south, four times for east, and five 
times for west ; three smokes raised twice for 
northeast, three times for northwest, etc., etc. 

By multiplying the combinations of signals a 
great variety of messages might be transmitted 
in this manner; but, to avoid mistakes, the sig- 
nals should be written down and copies furnished 
the commander of each separate party, and they 
need not necessarily be made known to other 

During the day an intelligent man should be de- 
tailed to keep a vigilant look-out in all dii'ections 


for smokes, and he should be furnished with a 
watch, j)encil, and paper, to make a record of the 
signals, with their number, and the time of the in- 
tervals between them. 



Hunting. — Its Benefits to the Soldier. — ^Buffalo. — Deer. — An- 
telope. — Bear. — Big-horn, or Mountain Sheep. — Their 
Habits, and Hints upon the best Methods of hunting them. 


I KNOW of no better school of practice for per- 
fecting men in target-firing, and the use of fire- 
arms generally, than that in which the frontier 
hunter receives his education. One of the first and 
most important lessons that he is taught impresses 
him with the conviction that, unless his gim is in 
good order and steadily directed upon the game, he 
must go without his supi^er ; and if ambition does 
not stimulate his efiforts, his appetite will, and ulti- 
mately lead to success and confidence in his own 

The man who is afraid to place the butt of his 
piece firmly against his shoulder, or who turns 
away his head at the instant of pullmg trigger (as 
soldiers often do before they have been drilled at 
target -practice), will not be likely to bag much 
game or to contribute materially toward the result 
of a battle. The successful hunter, as a general 
rule, is a good shot, will always charge his gun 
properly, and may be relied upon in action. I 
would, therefore, when in garrison or at permanent 



camps, encourage officers and soldiers in field-sports. 
If permitted, men very readily cultivate a fondness 
for these innocent and healthy exercises, and occu- 
py their leisure time in their pursuit ; whereas, if 
confined to the narrow limits of a frontier camp or 
garrison, having no amusements within their reach, 
they are prone to indulge in practices which are 
highly detrimental to their physical and moral con- 

By making short excursions about the country 
they acquire a knowledge of it, become inured to 
fatigue, learn the art of bivouacking, trailing, etc., 
etc., all of which will be found serviceable in bor- 
der warfare ; and, even if they should perchance 
now and then miss some of the minor routine duties 
of the garrison, the benefits they would derive from 
hunting would, in my opinion, more than counter- 
balance its effects. Under the old regime it was 
thought that drills, dress-parades, and guard-mount- 
ings comprehended the sum total of the soldier's 
education, but the. experience of the last ten years 
has taught us that these are only the rudiments, 
and that to combat successfully with Indians we 
must receive instruction from them, study their 
tactics, and, where they suit our purposes, copy 
from them. 

The union of discipline with the individuality, 
self-reliance, and rapidity of locomotion of the sav- 
age is what we should aim at. This will be the 
tendency of the course indicated, and it is con- 


ceived by the writer that an army composed of 
well-disciplined hunters will be the most efficient 
of all others against the only enemy we have to en- 
counter within the hmits of our vast j^ossessions. 

I find some pertinent remarks upon this subject 
in a very sensible essay by " a late captain of in- 
fantry" (U. S.). He says : 

" It is conceived that scattered bands of momited 
hunters, with the speed of a horse and the watch- 
fulness of a wolf or antelope, whose faculties are 
sharpened by their necessities ; who, when they get 
short of provisions, separate and look for something 
to eat, and find it in the water, in the ground, or 
on the surface; whose bill of fare ranges from 
grass-seed, nuts, roots, grasshoppers, lizards, and 
rattlesnakes up to the antelope, deer, elk, bear, and 
bufiklo, and who have a continent to roam over, 
will be neither surprised, caught, conquered, over- 
awed, or reduced to famine by a rumbling, bugle- 
blowing, drum-beating town passing through their 
country on wheels at the speed of a loaded wagon. 

" If the Indians are in the path and do not wish 
to be seen, they cross a ridge, and the town moves 
on, ignorant whether there are fifty Indians within 
a mile or no Indian within fifty miles. If the In- 
dians wish to see, they return to the crest of the 
ridge, crawl up to the edge, pull up a bunch of 
grass by the roots, and look through or under it at 
the procession." 

Although I would always encourage men in himt- 


ing when permanently located, yet, unless they are 
good woodsmen, it is not safe to permit them to go 
out alone in marching through the Indian country, 
as, aside from the danger of encountering Indians, 
they would be liable to become bewildered and 
perhaps lost, and this might detain the entke party 
in searching for them. The better plan upon a 
march is for three or four to go out together, ac- 
companied by a good woodsman, who will be able 
with certainty to lead them back to camp. 

The little group could ascertain if Indians are 
about, and would be strong enough to act on the 
defensive against small parties of them ; and, while 
they are amusing themselves, they may perform an 
important part as scouts and flankers. 

An expedition may have been i:>erfectly organ- 
ized, and every thing provided that the wisest fore- 
thought could suggest, yet circumstances beyond the 
control of the most experienced traveler may some- 
times arise to defeat the best concerted plans. It 
is not, for example, an impossible contingency that 
the traveler may, by unforeseen delays, consume 
his provisions, lose them in crossing streams, or 
have them stolen by hostile Indians, and be reduced 
to the necessity of depending upon game for sub- 
sistence. Under these circumstances, a few obser- 
vations upon the habits of the different animals that 
frequent the Plains and on the best methods of hunt- 
ing them may not be altogether devoid of interest 
or utility in this connection. 



The largest and most useful animal that roams 
over the prairies is the buffalo. It provides food, 
clothing, and shelter to thousands of natives whose 
means of livelihood depend almost exclusively upon 
this gigantic monarch of the prairies. 

Not many years since they thronged in countless 
multitudes over all that vast area lying between 
Mexico and the British possessions, but now their 
range is confined within very narrow limits, and a 
few more years wUl probably witness the extinction 
of the species. 

The traveler, in passing from Texas or Arkansas 
through southern New Mexico to California, does 
not, at the present day, encounter the buffalo ; but 
upon all the routes north of latitude 36° the animal 
is still found between the 99th and 102d meridians 
of longitude. 

Although generally regarded as migratory in their 
habits, yet the buffalo often winter in the snows of 
a high northern latitude. Early in the spring of 
1858 I found them in the Rocky Mountams, at the 
head of the Arkansas and South Platte Rivers, and 
there was every indication that this was a perma- 
nent abiding-place for them. 

There are two methods generally practiced in 
hunting the buffalo, viz. : running them on horse- 
back, and stalking, or still-hmiting. The first meth- 
od requires a sure-footed and tolerably fleet horse 


that is not easily frightened. The buffalo cow, 
which makes much better beef than the bull, when 
pursued by the hunter runs rapidly, and, unless the 
horse be fleet, it requires a long and exhausting 
chase to overtake her. 

When the buffalo are discovered, and the hunter 
intends to give chase, he should first dismount, ar- 
range his saddle-blanket and saddle, buckle the 
girth tight, and make every thing about his horse 
furniture snug and secure. He should then put his 
arms in good firing order, and, taking the lee side 
of the herd, so that they may not get " the vnncV 
of him, he should approach in a walk as close as 
possible, taking advantage of any cover that may 
offer. His horse then, bemg cool and fresh, will 
be able to dash into the herd, and probably carry 
his rider very near the animal he has selected be- 
fore he becomes alarmed. 

If the hunter be right-handed, and uses a pistol, 
he should approach upon the left side, and when 
nearly opposite and close upon the buffalo, deliver 
his shot, taking aim a little below the centre of the 
body, and about eight inches back of the shoulder. 
This will strike the vitals, and generally render 
another shot unnecessary. 

When a rifle or shot-gun is used the hunter rides 
up on the right side, keeping his horse well in hand, 
so as to be able to turn off if the beast charges upon 
him; this, however, never happens except with a 
buffalo that is wounded, when it is advisable to keep 
out of his reach. 


The buffalo has immense powers of endurance, 
and will run for many miles without any apparent 
effort or diminution in speed. The first buffalo I 
ever saw I followed about ten miles, and when I 
left him he seemed to run faster than Avhen the 
chase commenced. 

As a long buffalo-chase is very severe labor upon 
a horse, I would recommend to all travelers, unless 
they have a good deal of surplus horse-flesh, never 
to expend it in running buffalo. 

Still-hunting, which requires no consumption of 
horse-flesh, and is equally successful with the other 
method, is recommended. In stalkmg on horse- 
back, the most broken and hilly localities should be 
selected, as these will furnish cover to the hunter, 
who passes from the crest of one hill to another, 
examining the country carefully in all directions. 
When the game is discovered, if it happen to be on 
the lee side, the hunter should endeavor, by mak- 
ing a wide detour, to get upon the opposite side, 
as he will find it impossible to approach within 
rifle range with the wind. 

When the animal is upon a hill, or in any other 
position where he can not be approached without 
danger of disturbing him, the hunter should wait 
imtil he moves off to more favorable ground, and 
this will not generally require much time, as they 
wander about a great deal when not grazing; he 
then pickets his horse, and approaches cautiously, 
seeking to screen himself as much as possible by the 


undulations in the surface, or beMncl such other ob- 
jects as may present themselves ; but if the surface 
should offer no cover, he must crawl upon his hands 
and knees when near the game, and in this way he 
can generally get within rifle range. 

Should there be several animals together, and his 
first shot take effect, the hunter can often get sev- 
eral other shots before they become frightened. A 
Delaware Indian and myself once killed five buffa- 
loes out of a small herd before the remainder were 
so much disturbed as to move away ; although we 
were within the short distance of twenty yards, 
yet the reports of our rifles did not frighten them 
in the least, and they continued grazing during all 
the time we were loading and firing. 

The sense of smelling is exceedingly acute with 
the buffalo, and they will take the wind from the 
hunter at as great a distance as a mile. 

When the animal is wounded, and stops, it is 
better not to go near him until he Ues down, as he 
will often run a great distance if disturbed ; but if 
left to himself, will in many cases die in a short 

When buffaloes are grazing upon an open flat 
prairie where the grass is short, affording no cover, 
the Indians stalk them by covering themselves with 
a light-colored blanket, and crawling along the 
ground on their hands and knees to the leeward of 
the herd, and at the same time dragging their guns 
or bows and arrows along with them. If proper 


caution is used, they are thus enabled to reach the 
desired proximity, and may even approach directly 
into the midst of the herds without giving alarm. 

It very rarely happens that there is any danger 
resulting from this method of approach unless the 
hunter by a careless shot gives an animal a slight 
flesh-wound, which only tends to irritate him. In- 
stances have occurred under such circumstances 
when the hunter's life has been exposed to immi- 
nent jeopardy. I once knew a case of this kind in 
which an experienced buifalo-hunter was pursued 
by a young bull for several hundred yards, and he 
only effected his escape by passing over an elevated 
swell in the prairie and hiding in some tall grass 
which he was so fortunate as to find at this critical 
juncture. The buffalo, on reaching the top of the 
eminence, cast a glance around, but, not discovering 
his adversary, abandoned the pursuit and walked 
away in another direction. 

When a man on foot. is pursued by a buffalo, if 
he will drop some object, such as his coat, hat, or 
other article of dress, this will often divert the an- 
imal's attention, and he will stop and vent his rage 
upon it, thus giving the hunter time to get out of 

When a herd of buffalo is pursued they run in a 
soHd mass, keeping close together, but with the 
cows near the front, and on the inside, so that it is 
necessary, in order to reach them, to penetrate the 
dense phalanx of bulls occupying the outside. This 


may be done by riding along with the herd and 
gradually inclining toward the centre as openings 
present themselves ; this, however, is a feat attend- 
ed with some hazard, and should not be attempted 
by any one without a well-trained and sure-footed 
horse, as, in the event of being unhorsed, the hunter 
would inevitably be trampled to pieces under the 
feet of the buffalo. 

It is dangerous to chase a herd of buffalo when 
they raise such a dust as to make it difficult to see 
them or to judge accurately of their position. 

The hunter should never leave his horse near a 
herd of buffalo without tying him, as horses Avill 
often start off with the buffalo, and are sometimes 
irretrievably lost in this way. One of our officers, 
en route to Utah, jumped from his horse, and, leav- 
ing him without tying, ran forward to shoot a buf- 
falo, when, much to his astonishment, his horse sud- 
denly took to his heels, joined the fleeing herd with 
saddle, bridle, and other accoutrements, continued 
with it far over the prairies out of sight, and has 
not, I believe, been heard from since. 

The tongues, humj^s, and marrow-bones are re- 
garded as the choice parts of the animal. The 
tongue is taken out by ripping open the skin be- 
tween the prongs of the lower jaw-bone and pull- 
ing it out through the orifice. The hump may be 
taken off by skinning down on each side of the 
shoulders and cutting away the meat, after which 


the hump-ribs can be unjointed where they unite 
with the spine. The marrow, when roasted in tlie 
bones, is delicious. 


Of all game quadrupeds indigenous to this conti- 
nent, the common red deer is probably more wide- 
ly dispersed from north to south and from east to 
west over our vast possessions than any other. 
They are found in all latitudes from Hudson's Bay 
to Mexico, and they clamber over the most elevated 
peaks of the western sierras with the same ease that 
they range the eastern forests or the everglades of 
Florida. In summer they crop the grass upon the 
summits of the Rocky Mountains, and in winter, 
when the snow falls deep, they descend into shel- 
tered valleys, where they fall an easy prey to the 

Besides the common red deer of the Eastern 
States, two other varieties are found in the Rocky 
Mountains, viz., the "black -tailed deer," which 
takes its name from the fact of its having a small 
tuft of black hair upon the end of its tail, and the 
long-tailed species. The former of these is consid- 
erably larger than the eastern deer, and is much 
darker, being of a very deep-yellowish iron-gray, 
with a yellowish red upon the belly. It frequents 
the mountams, and is never seen far away from 
them. Its habits are similar to those of the red 
deer, and it is hunted in the same way. The only 

THE DEER. 243 

difference I have been able to discern between the 
long-tailed variety and the common deer is in the 
length of the tail and body. I have seen this ani- 
mal only in the neighborhood of the Rocky Mount- 
ains, but it may resort to other localities. 

Although the deer are still abundant in many of 
our forest districts in the east, and do not appear to 
decrease very rapidly, yet there has within a few 
years been a very evident diminution in the num- 
bers of those frequenting our "Western prairies. In 
passmg through Southern Texas in 1846, thousands 
of deer were met with daily, and, astonishing as it 
may appear, it was no uncommon spectacle to see 
from one to two hundred in a single herd; the 
prairies seemed literally alive with them; but in 
1855 it was seldom that a herd often was seen in 
the same localities. It seemed to me that the vast 
herds first met with could not have been killed off 
by the hunters in that sparsely-populated section, 
and I was puzzled to know what had become of 
them. It is possible they may have moved off into 
Mexico ; they certainly are not in our territory at 
the present time. 

Sportsmen have never been, and probably never 
will be unanimous in their opinions regarding the 
best arm for deer-hunting. The relative efficiency 
of the rifle and the smooth-bored fowling-piece has 
been a fruitful theme for discussion among the re- 
spective advocates of each for many years, and some 
very cogent arguments have been adduced in sup- 
port of both sides of the question. 


In clrivmg deer with clogs, where the hunter is 
stationed upon a " runway," and seldom has an op- 
portunity of getting any other than a running shot, 
and this oftentimes in dense cover, I should un- 
questionably give the preference to a large gauged 
Jhot-gun. I should also choose the same descrip- 
tion of gun to hunt deer on horseback in thick 
cover, where the game is lying down, and generally 
springs up suddenly and is out of sight before a 
rifle could be brought to bear with much certainty 
upon it; but when it comes to still-hunting deer, 
there is no comj)arison, in my judgment, between 
the relative merits of the two arms. 

Any one who has been in the habit of deer-stalk- 
ing knows that it is generally difficult to approach 
nearer to them than about 100 yards; he also will 
be aware of the fact that a smooth-bored gun, even 
when charged with Ely's T^-ire buck-shot cartridges, 
is a very uncertain weapon at greater distances 
than about 60 or VO yards; while, on the other 
hand, it will be equally apparent to him that a good 
rifle, in the hands of an experienced shot, is per- 
fectly reliable at all distances under 150 yards. 

That man who can not kill a deer at 100 yards 
with a good rifle had better throw it aside, take 
the shot-gun, and turn his attention to smaller 
game, for he certainly never will become proficient 
as a deer-hunter. 

One of the most conclusive arguments I know of 
upon this subject is found in the fact that all our 

THE DEEK. 245 

frontier hunters who rely exclusively uj^on their 
guns to furnish them subsistence use only the rifle, 
and, indeed, I have never known a very expert 
deer-stalker that would make use of any other 

The rifles that are manufactured in the Eastern 
States are designed for small game or target j^rac- 
tice, and are, for the most part, of small calibre, car- 
rying from about 80 to 100 round balls to the 
pound. AVhile it is admitted that these missiles, 
when fired with great accuracy through the vitals 
of a deer, will bring him to the ground, yet it is 
contended that if they only penetrate the fleshy 
parts of the animal, or even 23ass through the en- 
trails, they are often insufiicient to stop him ; Avhere- 
as, if a deer be wounded with a large ball, he will 
bleed much more freely, and will sooner become 

I have always been much more successful with a 
large-calibred rifle than Avith a small one ; and I am 
of the opinion that a gauge admitting about 32 
round balls to the pound is the most efiicient, not 
only for deer-shooting, but for all the other large- 
game quadrupeds found upon our continent. 

A hunting rifle should not be shorter in the bar- 
rel than 30 inches (I jDrefer 34 inches), as this length 
insures a good line of sight, and gives a desirable 
balance to the gun when brought to the shoulder. 
A shorter barrel may throw the ball with as much 
accuracy, but it is more easily thrown out of the 


proper line of direction, and does not allow suffi- 
cient interval between the front and back sights. 

The weight of metal in the barrel is a considera- 
tion of importance, but will depend somewhat upon 
the physical powers of the individual. A heavy bar- 
rel recoils less than a light one, and, consequently, 
throws the projectile with more precision; but a 
delicate man can not carry a very heavy rifle upon 
his shoulder all day without too great a tax uj)on 
his powers of endurance. Some of our stout and 
hardy frontiermen, like the Swiss mountaineers, 
carry a rifle of twenty pounds' weight, but this I 
deem unnecessarily large. A rifle w^eighing entire 
from 10 J to 12 pounds is, in my judgment, heavy 
enough for hunting purposes. It does not recoil 
perceptibly when properly charged, and is not cum- 
bersome for men of ordinary physique. 

A great variety of complicated elevating back- 
sights have been brought to the notice of the pub- 
lic within the past few years, and some of them re- 
ceived with favor among military men. They are 
graduated, and designed to be elevated or depress- 
ed as the firing distance increases or diminishes. 
Theoretically they are correct in principle, and per- 
haps, for military arms, they may be found advan- 
tageous when the distances can be determined with 
accuracy ; but when the enemy is manoeuvring, and 
continually occupying difierent positions, the dis- 
tances must, for the most part, be estimated. Un- 
der such circumstances, it strikes my mind that but 

THE DEER. 247 

little, if any, practical utility will be attained from 
the use of this awkward and cumbersome appendage. 

The open back-sight is, in my opinion, the only 
one that should ever be used upon a hunting-rifle. 
After it is firmly attached to the gun, the point- 
blank distance can be ascertained by experiment, 
and the sights adjusted to the proper distance. If 
the object is at a greater or less distance, the hunt- 
er draws a coarser or finer sight, and by practice 
he will become enabled to make this estimate with 
a good deal of accuracy ; whereas, if he have the 
elevating sight upon his rifle, he must stop to reg- 
ulate it to the distance the game happens to show 
itself before he can fire, and by the time this is 
done, unless the game is more accommodating than 
I have usually found it, he will be disappointed. 

The only objection I have discovered in the use 
of the open sight is, that when the sun's rays strike 
it at particular angles it produces a glimmering in 
the notch, which prevents drawing a fine sight, but 
this difficulty is, in a great degree, overcome by a 
very ingenious and simjole device, which originated 
with one of my Rocky Mountain guides. It con- 
sists in having a semi-sjDherical concavity drilled 
into the top of the sight, with the circumference 
tangent to the outer front and rear edges of it. 
The notches are then cut so as to be in a vertical 
plane with the axis of the piece when the sight is 
fixed in position. This orifice efiectually screens 
the notches and prevents any glimmering. 


The front sights upon the rifles found in the shops 
in Northeastern States are generally too short, and 
our Western hunters always knock them off and put 
on others. This sight should be about an inch 
long, and shaped according to the opj)osite dia- 
gram. The hunters generally make them of a piece 
of silver cut from the edge of a half dollar. 

Twenty years' experience in deer-hunting has 
taught me several facts relative to the habits of the 
animal, which, when well understood, will be found 
of much service to the inexperienced hunter, and 
greatly contribute to his success. The best target- 
shots are not necessarily the most skillful deer- 
stalkers. One of the great secrets of this art is in 
knowing how to approach the game Avithout giving 
alarm, and this can not easily be done imless the 
hunter sees it before he is himself discovered. 
There are so many objects in the woods resembling 
the deer in color that none but a practiced eye can 
often detect the difference. 

When the deer is reposing he generally turns his 
head from the wind, in which position he can see 
an enemy approaching from that direction, and his 
nose will apprise him of the presence of danger 
from the opj)osite side. The best method of hunt- 
ing deer, therefore, is across the icmd. 

While the deer are feeding, early in the morning 
and a short time before dark in the evening are the 
best times to stalk them, as they are then busily 
















THE DEER. 251 

occupied and less on the alert. When a deer is 
espied with his head down, cropping the grass, the 
hunter advances cautiously, keeping his eyes con- 
stantly directed upon him, and screening himself 
behind intervening objects, or, in the absence of 
other cover, crawls along upon his hands and knees 
in the grass, until the deer hears his step and raises 
his head, when he must instantly stop and remam 
in an attitude fixed and motionless as a statue, for 
the animal's vision is his keenest sense. When 
alarmed he will detect the slightest movement of a 
small object, and, unless the hunter stands or lies 
perfectly still, his presence will be detected. If the 
hunter does not move, the deer will, after a short 
time, recover from his alarm and resume his grazing, 
when he may be again approached. The deer al- 
ways exhibits his alarm by a sudden jerking of the 
tail just before he raises his head. 

I once saw a Delaware Indian walk directly up 
within rifle range of a deer tliat was feeding upon 
the open prairie and shoot him down ; he was, how- 
ever, a long time in approaching, and made frequent 
halts whenever the animal flirted his tail and raised 
his head. Although he often turned toward the 
hunter, yet he did not appear to notice him, proba- 
bly taking him for a stump or tree. 

When the deer are lying doAvn in the smooth 
prairie, unless the grass is tall, it is difiicult to get 
near them, as they are generally looking around, 
and become alarmed at the least noise. 


The most auspicious season of the year for still- 
hunting deer in a northern latitude is immediately 
after the first light falls of snow during the early 
part of winter. The game is then "^;^ seaso^i," fat, 
well-flavored, and the fawns sufficiently grown to 
take care of themselves. 

When the ground is covered with a soft carj^et 
of three or four inches of snow, the hunter passes 
over it without making much noise by the crackling 
of twigs or the rustling of leaves under his feet. 

Moccasins are preferable for this kind of hunting 
to boots or shoes, especially m the cold and dry 
weather, for the reason that they are more soft and 
yielding, and do not occasion so much noise by 
crushing twigs or striking against hard substances, 
and are therefore less liable to startle the game. 

In starting out at early dawn, after there has been 
a light snow during the preceding night, the hunt- 
er may be certain, should he encounter a track, 
that it is fresh, and that the animal is not very far 
distant. He then, in a region where the deer are 
not very abundant, takes the trail and follows it ; 
but, in doing this, he should not keep his eyes con- 
stantly fixed upon the ground, but walk cautiously 
along near the track, carefully avoiding stej^ping 
upon dry brush, or breaking off overhanging limbs 
of trees, and attentively scrutinizing all the ground 
in front within rifle range. 

Where the deer has been moving directly along, 
without stopping to lie down or wandering about 

THE DEER. 253 

to eat, it will not be necessary to exercise so much 
caution, as the animal will probably be found some 
distance in advance ; but whenever the track takes 
a direction toward a thicket of brush, a morass cov- 
ered with tall grass or rushes, or, indeed, toward 
any other place affording dense cover, where the 
animal might be likely to lie down, the hunter 
should at once leave the trail and make a wide de- 
tour around upon the lee side of such covert, keep- 
ing his eyes intently occupied in scrutinizing every 
object within the area. After passing entirely 
around the copse in this manner, and arriving at 
the point of departure, if he has not crossed the 
track on the opposite side, he knows that the deer 
is within the circle he has described, and he then 
makes sure that his rifle is in good firing order ; and, 
carrying it in such a position that it can be brought 
to bear upon the object in the shortest possible 
time, he begins to contract the circle by gradually 
approaching nearer the covert, and keenly search- 
ing every place where it is possible for the deer to 
make his bed. To insure success in the execution 
of this very adroit and strategic approach, it is ab- 
solutely necessary that the hunter should move with 
a slow and regular gait, but on no account stop, or 
make any unusual demonstration, until he discovers 
the game and is in readiness to deliver his shot, as, 
in the event of his being very near the deer, he will 
oftentimes jump up and run at the instant he makes 
a halt, whereas if he moves steadily along with a 


measured step, as if he intended to pass by, they 
will generally lie close, and sometimes I have even 
seen them lower their heads upon the ground to 
hide from the hunter. 

The antlers of the bucks, before they shed them, 
can often be seen over the tops of the tall grass or 
low brush when they are lying down, and the long 
erect ears of the does are the first objects that make 
their appearance under the same circumstances. 

The hunter must be careful not to allow his eyes 
to catch those of the deer when he discovers him, 
as I am informed by a finished sportsman and an 
experienced deer-stalker (although I have never ob- 
served the fact myself) that in such event the ani- 
mal will instantly jump up and run. 

During the '•'- ru7inmg season^'' the bucks follow 
on the trail of the does in a fast walk or slow trot, 
and, as they are then eagerly occupied in the pur- 
suit of their object, they are not easily diverted 
from it. The hunter may then fall in behind them 
after they pass him, and, following up rapidly, ap- 
proach within rifle range without difliculty. 

The "running season" in the Northern States 
generally commences in October, and lasts about a 
month ; but in the Southern States it is about a 
month later. During this season the bucks run 
themselves down, become poor, their necks swell to 
an enormous size, andthe venison is then rank and 
unfit for the table. 

A woimded deer can be followed without difii- 

THE DEER. 255 

culty upon the snow ; and if the blood that flows 
from tlie wound is of a light red or pink color, it is 
a certain indication that the animal has been struck 
in the vitals, and will not run far. In the summer 
season a wounded deer will generally seek the wa- 
ter, and, hiding under the shelving banks of rivers, 
or in the grass upon the borders of ponds, sink his 
body, only keeping his head exposed ; it then be- 
comes necessary to search very closely to discover 
his hiding-place. 

When a deer has been alarmed by a hunter upon 
his track, he often runs a long distance before he 
recovers from his fright, and it requires a long and 
exhausting chase to come up with him again ; even 
then he will be hkely to keep an eye to the rear for 
a considerable time, and it will require great cau- 
tion to approach within shooting distance. I have 
always, under such circumstances, thought it better 
to abandon the track and look for another. 

When a deer has but one leg broken he makes 
good running, and a man on foot will find it very 
difficult to overtake him without a dog to bring him 
" to bay." I remember one instance where I broke 
both fore-legs of a doe just above the knees, yet, 
notwithstanding these severe wounds, she ran off 
upon the stumps nearly half a mile before I suc- 
ceeded in securing her. 

Another very successful method of deer-stalking, 
which is i^racticed a good deal in the sparsely- 
populated districts of Texas and Mexico, where the 


game is abundant, and accustomed to grazing in 
the vicinity of cattle and horses, is by making use 
of a gentle and tractable horse or mule, and ap- 
proaching as near the deer as can conveniently be 
done without giving alarm (about 300 yards) ; the 
hunter then dismounts, attaches one end of his 
wiping-stick, or other small rod, to the bridle-bit 
by means of a string; he then takes the opposite 
end of the rod in one hand, his rifle in the other, 
and, placing himself near the horse's shoulder on 
the opposite side from the deer, so as to be screened 
from their observation by the horse, he moves off 
very slowly in a direction not directly toward the 
game, but so as to pass within the desirable rifle 
range, and upon the lee side. With the stick he is 
enabled to guide his horse, stop him, or turn him 
in any direction he may desire. In this manner he 
proceeds in a slow walk, carefully covering himself 
behind the horse, and gradually bearing toward the 

During the approach the deer will sometimes 
take alarm, raise their heads, and cast a startled 
and inquiring look at the horse. Should this occur, 
the hunter will at once stop and allow his horse to 
crop the grass, while he himself lowers his head so 
as to be entirely screened from the deer. As soon 
as they regain their composure and resume their 
grazing, he proceeds again, and will generally be 
able to get within short rifle range, when he can 
stoop down and fire under his horse's belly or neck. 

THE DEER. 257 

If, however, the stalking-horse has not been tramed 
to this particular method of hunting, or is alarmed 
at the report of fire-arms, the hunter should carry 
the lariat rope in his hand, and, when he is suffi- 
ciently near the deer, drop the guiding-stick, and 
allow his horse to pass on, while he remains upon 
the ground behind, and places himself in position 
to fire at the instant he is uncovered by the horse. 
I have often hunted in this way, and with good 
success. I observed, however, after a particular 
herd had been stalked several times, that they be- 
came wary, after which it was necessary to unsad- 
dle before commencing the approach. 

Another successful, but not very sportsmanlike 
method of deer-stalking is resorted to by the un- 
scrupulous pot-hunters in Western Texas and Mex- 
ico, and which is so entirely different from any 
other I have ever heard of that it is worthy of a 
notice for its originality. It consists in making use 
of a dry and stiff ox-hide, to one end of which a 
rope is attached. A yoke of well-trained and gen- 
tle oxen are then hitched to the rope, and the hunt- 
er drives out into the prairies where the deer re- 
sort. When he discovers a herd, and has approach- 
ed as near as can be done without disturbing them, 
he seats himself upon the hide, and, without speak- 
ing or making any other noise, directs the team 
with his whip toward the game. During the ap- 
proach, he allows his cattle to move slowly, and oc- 
casionally to stop and crop the grass. He is well 


screened by the oxen and the pran-ie grass, and will 
find it a very easy matter to drive within short rifle 
range without being discovered. After killing a 
deer, he places it upon his drag, and drives on in 
search of others. 

The Indians are in the habit of using a small in- 
strument which imitates the bleat of the young 
fawn, with which they lure the doe within range 
of their rifles. The young fawn gives out no scent 
upon its track until it is sufficiently grown to make 
good running, and instinct teaches the mother that 
this wise provision of nature to preserve the help- 
less little quadruped from the ravages of wolves, 
panthers, and other carnivorous beasts, will be de- 
feated if she remains with it, as her tracks can not 
be concealed. She therefore hides her fawn in the 
grass, where it is almost impossible to see it, even 
when very near it, goes off* to some neighboring 
thicket within call, and makes her bed alone. The 
Indian pot-hunter, who is but little scrupulous as 
to the means he employs in accomplishing his ends, 
sounds the bleat along near the places where he 
thinks the game is lying, and the unsuspicious doe, 
who imagines that her offspring is in distress, rush- 
es with headlong impetuosity toward the sound, 
and often goes within a few yards of the hunter to 
receive her death-wound. 

This is cruel sport, and can only be justified when 
meat is scarce, which is very frequently the case in 
the Indian's larder. 

THE DEER. 259 

It does not always comport with a man's feelings 
of security, especially if he happens to be a little 
nervous, to sound the deer-bleat in a wild region 
of country. I once undertook to experiment with 
the instrument myself, and made my first essay in 
attempting to call u-p an antelope which I discov- 
ered in the distance. I succeeded admirably in 
luring the wary victim within shooting range, had 
raised upon my knees, and was just in the act of 
pulling trigger, when a rustling in the grass on my 
left drew my attention in that direction, where, 
much to my surprise, I beheld a huge panther with- 
in about twenty yards, bounding with gigantic 
strides directly toward me. I turned my rifle, and 
in an instant, much to my relief and gratification, 
its contents were lodged in the heart of the beast. 

Many men, when they suddenly encounter a 
deer, are seized with nervous excitement, called in 
sporting parlance the " buck fever^"^ which causes 
them to fire at random. Notwithstanding I have 
had much experience in hunting, I must confess 
that I am never entirely free from some of the 
symptoms of this malady when firing at large 
game, and I believe that in four out of five cases 
where I have missed the game my balls have pass- 
ed too high. I have endeavored to obviate this by 
sighting my rifle low, and it has been attended with 
more successful results. The same remarks apply 
to most other men I have met with. They fire too 
high when excited. 


This animal frequents the most elevated, bleak, 
and naked prairies in all latitudes from Mexico to 
Oregon, and constitutes an important item of sub- 
sistence with many of the Prairie Indians. It is the 
most wary, timid, and fleet animal that inhabits the 
Plains. It is about the size of a small deer, with a 
heavy coating of coarse, wiry hair, and its flesh is 
more tender and juicy than that of the deer. It 
seldom enters a timbered country, but seems to de- 
light in cropping the grass from the elevated swells 
of the prairies. When disturbed by the traveler, it 
will circle around him with the speed of the wind, 
but does not stop until it reaches some prominent 
position whence it can survey the country on all 
sides, and nothing seems to escape its keen vision. 
They will sometimes stand for a long time and look 
at a man, provided he does not move or go out of 
sight ; but if he goes behind a hill with the inten- 
tion of passing around and getting nearer to them, 
he Avill never find them again in the same place. I 
have often tried the experiment, and invariably 
found that, as soon as I went where the antelope 
could not see me, he moved off*. Their sense of 
hearing, as well as vision, is very acute, which ren- 
ders it difficult to stalk them. By taking advan- 
tage of the cover afforded in broken ground, the 
hunter may, by moving slowly and cautiously over 
the crests of the irregularities in the surface, some- 
times approach within rifle range. 





THE BEAK. 2 03 

The antelope possesses a greater degree of curi- 
osity than any other animal I know of, and will 
often approach very near a strange object. The 
experienced hunter, taking advantage of this pecul- 
iarity, lies down and secretes himself in the grass, 
after which he raises his handkerchief, hand, or foot, 
so as to attract the attention of the animal, and thus 
often succeeds in beguiling him within shooting 

In some valleys near the Rocky Mountains, where 
the pasturage is good during the winter season, 
they collect in immense herds. The Indians are in 
the habit of surrounding them in such localities and 
running them with their horses until they tire them 
out, when they slay large numbers. 

The antelope makes a track much shorter than 
the deer, very broad and round at the heel, and 
quite sharp at the toe; a little experience renders 
it easy to distinguish them. 


Besides the common black bear of the Eastern 
States, several others are found iu the mountains 
of California, Oregon, Utah, and New Mexico, viz., 
the grizzly, brown, and cinnamon varieties ; all have 
nearly the same habits, and are hunted in the same 

From all I had heard of the grizzly bear, I was 
induced to believe him one of the most formidable 
and savage animals in the universe, and that the 


man who would deliberately encounter and kill one 
of these beasts had performed a signal feat of cour- 
age which entitled him to a lofty position among 
the votaries of Nimrod. So firmly had I become 
impressed with this conviction, that I should have 
been very reluctant to fire upon one had I met him 
when alone and on foot. The grizzly bear is assured- 
ly the monarch of the American forests, and, so far 
as physical strength is concerned, he is, perhaps, 
without a rival in the world ; but, after some expe- 
rience in hunting, my opinions regarding his cour- 
age and his willingness to attack men have very 
materially changed. 

In passing over the elevated table-lands lying be- 
tween the two forks of the Platte River in 1858, 1 
encountered a full-grown female grizzly bear, with 
two cubs, very quietly reposing upon the open prai- 
rie, several miles distant from any timber. This 
being the first opportunity that had ever occurred 
to me for an encounter w4th the ursine monster, 
and being imbued with the most exalted notions of 
the beast's proclivities for offensive warfare, espe- 
cially when in the presence of her offspring, it may 
very justly be imagined that I was rather more ex- 
cited than usual. I, however, determined to make 
the assault. I felt the utmost confidence in my 
horse, as she was afraid of nothing ; and, after ar- 
ranging every thing about my saddle and arms in 
good order, I advanced to Avithin about eighty 
yards before I was discovered by the bear, when 

THE BEAK. 265 

she raised upon her haunches and gave me a scru- 
tmizing examination. I seized this ojoportune mo- 
ment to fire, but missed my aim, and she started oif, 
followed by her cubs at their utmost speed. After 
reloading my rifle, I pursued, and, on coming again 
within range, delivered another shot, which struck 
the large bear in the fleshy part of the thigh, where- 
upon she set up a most distressing howl and accel- 
erated her pace, leaving her cubs behind. After 
loading again I gave the spurs to my horse and re- 
sumed the chase, soon passing the cubs, who were 
making the most plaintive cries of distress. They 
were heard by the dam, but she gave no other heed 
to them than occasionally to halt for an instant, turn 
around, sit up on her posteriors, and give a hasty 
look back; but, as soon as she saw me following 
her, she invariably turned again and redoubled her 
speed. I pursued about four miles and fired four 
balls into her before I succeeded in bringing her to 
the ground, and from the time I first saw her until 
her death-wound, notwithstanding I was often very 
close upon her heels, she never came to bay or made 
the slightest demonstration of resistance. Her sole 
purpose seemed to be to make her escape, leaving 
her cubs in the most cowardly manner. 

Upon three other different occasions I met the 
mountain bears, and once the cinnamon species, 
which is called the most formidable of all, and in 
none of these instances did they exhibit the slight- 
est indication of anger or resistance, but invariably 
ran from me. 


Such is my experience with this formidable mon- 
arch of the mountains. It is possible that if a man 
came suddenly upon the beast in a thicket, where it 
could have no previous warning, he might be at- 
tacked ; but it is my opinion that if the bear gets 
the loind or sight of a man at any considerable dis- 
tance, it will endeavor to get away as soon as pos- 
sible. I am so fully impressed with this idea that I 
shall hereafter hunt bear with a feeling of as much 
security as I would have in hunting the buffalo. 

The grizzly, like the black bear, hybernates in 
winter, and makes his appearance in the spring 
with his claws grown out long and very soft and 
tender ; he is then poor, and unfit for food. 

I have heard a very curious fact stated by sev- 
eral old mountaineers regarding the mountain bears, 
which, of course, I can not vouch for, but it is given 
by them with great apparent sincerity and candor. 
They assert that no instance has ever been knoAvn 
of a female bear having been killed in a state of 
pregnancy. This singular fact in the history of the 
animal seems most inexplicable to me, unless she 
remain concealed in her brumal slumber until after 
she has been delivered of her cubs. 

I was told by an old Delaware Indian that when 
the bear has been traveling against the wind and 
wishes to lie down, he always turns in an oj^posite 
direction, and goes some distance away from his 
first track before making his bed. If an enemy 
then comes upon his trail, his keen sense of smell 
will apprise him of the danger. The same Indian 

THE BEAR. 267 

mentioned that when a bear had been pursued and 
sought shelter in a cave, he had often endeavored 
to eject him with smoke, but that the bear would 
advance to the mouth of the cave, where the fire 
was burning, and put it out with his j^aws, then 
retreat into the cave again. This would indicate 
that Bruin is endowed with some glimpses of reason 
beyond the ordinary instincts of the brute creation 
in general, and, indeed, is capable of discerning the 
connection between cause and effect. Notwith- 
standing the extraordinary intelligence which this 
quadruped exhibits upon some occasions, upon oth- 
ers he shows himself to be one of the most stupid 
brutes imaginable. For example, when he has 
taken possession of a cavern, and the courageous 
hunter enters with a torch and rifle, it is said he 
will, instead of forcibly ejecting the intruder, raise 
himself upon his haunches and cover his eyes with 
his paws, so as to exclude the light, apparently 
thinking that in this situation he can not be seen. 
The hunter can then approach as close as he pleases 
and shoot him down. 


The big-horn or mountain sheep, which has a 
body like the deer, with the liead of a sheep, sur- 
mounted by an enormous pair of short, heavy horns, 
is found throughout the Rocky Mountains, and re- 
sorts to the most inaccessible peaks and to the wild- 
est and least-frequented glens. It clambers over 
almost perpendicular cliffs with the greatest ease 


and celerity, and skips from rock to rock, cropping 
the tender herbage that grows upon them. 

It has been supposed by some that this animal 
leaps down from crag to crag, lighting upon his 
horns, as an evidence of which it has been advanced 
that the front part of the horns is often much bat- 
tered. This I believe to be erroneous, as it is very 
common to see horns that have no bruises upon 

The old mountaineers say they have often seen 
the bucks engaged in desperate encounters Avitli 
their huge horns, which, in striking together, made 
loud reports. This will account for the marks 
sometimes seen upon them. 

The flesh of the big-horn, when fat, is more ten- 
der, juicy, and delicious than that of any other an- 
imal I know of, but it is a bonne boiiche which will 
not grace the tables of our city epicures until a rail- 
road to the Rocky Mountains aflbrds the means of 
transporting it to a market a thousand miles dis- 
tant from its haunts. 

In its habits the mountain sheep greatly resem- 
bles the chamois of Switzerland, and it is hunted in 
the same manner. The hunter traverses the most 
inaccessible and broken localities, moving along 
with great caution, as the least unusual noise causes 
them to flit away like a phantom, and they will be 
seen no more. The animal is gregarious, but it is 
seldom that more than eight or ten are found in a 
flock. "When not grazing they seek the sheltered 
sides of the mountains, and repose among the rocks 





No. Pago 

I. From Fort Smith, Arkansas, to Santa F6 and Albuquerque, 

NeiT Mexico. By Captain It. B. Marcy, U. S. A, 271 

II. From Fort Leavenworth to Santa Fe, by the way of the upper 

ferry of the Kansas Kiver and the Cimarron 2T3 

III. Camping-places upon a road discovered and marked out fi'om 

Fort Smith, Arkansas, to Dona Ana and El Paso, New Mex- 
ico, in 1849. By Captain E. B. Marcy, U. S. A 279 

IV. From Leavenworth City to Great Salt Lake City 282 

V. From Salt Lake City to Sacramento and Benicia, California. . 289 

VI. From Great Salt Lake City to Los Angeles and San Frailo'isco, 

California 293 

VII. From Fort Bridger to the "City of Rocks." From Captain 

Hancock's Journal 295 

VIII. From Soda Springs to the City of Eocks, known as Hudspeth's 

Cut-off 298 

IX. Sublette's Cut-off, from Salt Lake City Eoad, west of South 

Pass, to Bear Eiver 293 

X. From Lawson's Meadows, on the Humboldt Eiver, to Fort 
Eeading, via Eogue Eiver Valley, Fort Lane, Oregon Terri- 
tory, Yreka, and Fort Jones 299 

XI. From Soda Springs to Fort Wallah Wallah and Oregon City, 

Oregon, via Fort Hall 301 

XII. Route for pack trains from John Day's Eiver to Oregon City. . 304 

XIII. From Indianola and Powder-horn to San Antonio, Texas, . . . 304 

XIV, Wagon-road from San Antonio, Texas, to El Paso, N. M., and 

Fort Yuma, California '. 305 

XV. From Fort Yuma to San Diego, California 308 

XVI. From El Paso, New Mexico, to Fort Y^uma, California, via 

Santa Cruz 310 

XVn. From Westport, Missouri, to the gold diggings at Pike's Peak 

and " Cherry Creek," N. T., via the Arkansas Eiver 311 

XVIIL From St. Paul's, Min., to Fort Wallah Wallah, Oregon 318 

XIX. Lieutenant E. F, Beale's route from Albuquerque to the Colo- 
rado Eiver 323 

XX. Captain Whipple's route from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to 

San Pedro, California 324 


No. Page 

XXI, From Fort Yuma to Benicia, California. From Lieutenant 

E. S .Williamson's Report 831 

XXII. A new route from Fort Bridger to Camp Floyd, opened by 

Captain J. H. Simpson, U. IS. A., in 1S5S 333 

XXIII. From Fort Thorne, New Mexico, to Fort Yuma, California. . 334 

XXIV. Lieutenant Bryan's Route from the Laramie Crossing of the 

South riatte to Fort Bridger, via Bridger' s Pass 336 

XXV. Wagon - route from Denver City, at the Mouth of Cherry 

Creek, to Fort Bridger, Utah 339 

XXVI. From Nebraska City, on the Missouri, to Fort Kearney .... 342 
XXVII. From Camp Floyd, Utah, to Fort Union, New Mexico. By 

Colonel W.W. Loring, U. S. A • 343 

XXVni. Wagon-route from Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico, to Tubac, Ari- 
zona. From Captain Stone's Journal 349 

XXIX. Eoad from City of Rocks to Honey Lake Valley. Extracts 

from F. W. Lander's Report. 350 

XXX. Itinerary of F. W. Lander's Road from East Crossing of 

Sweet-water, on Salt Lake Road, to City of Rocks 352 

XXXI. Field-notes of the Location of the Fort Ridgely and South 
Pass Wagon-road, from the Missouri River to Fort Ridge- 
ley ; Samuel A. Medary, Engineer 357 

XXXII. Road from Camp Floyd, Utah, to Los Angeles, California. 

From Major F. J. Porter's Itinerary 362 

XXXIII. Itinerary of the more southern Wagon-route of Captain J. 

H. Simpson, Topographical Engineers, U. S. A., from Camp 
Floyd, U. T., to Genoa, in Carson Valley, through the 
Great Salt Lake Basin, explored by him in 1S50, under in- 
structions from Gen. A. S. Johnston, commanding the De- 
partment of Utah 368 

XXXIV. Itinerary of the more northern Wagon-route of Captain J. 

H. Simpson, from Camp Floyd to junction with the more 
southern route to Genoa, in Carson Valley, Utah Territo- 
ry. This is the present California Mail and Pony Exjiress 
Route 372 


I. — Fi'om Fort Smithy Ar7ca7isaSy to Santa Fe and 
Albuquerque^ New 3Iexico. By Captain R. B. 
Maecy, U. S. a. 


Fort Smith to 
15. Strickland's Farm. — The road crosses the Poteau River 
at Fort Smith, where there is a feny ; it then follows 
the Poteau bottom for ten miles. This part of the road 
is very muddy after heavy rains. At 14 miles it passes 
the Choctaw Agency, where there are several stores. 
There is the greatest abundance of wood, water, and 
grass at all camps for the first 200 miles. Where any 
of these are wanting it will be specially mentioned. 
The road passes through the Choctaw settlements for 
about 150 miles, and com and supplies can be purchased 
from these Indians at reasonable rates. 

11. Camp Creek. — Road crosses a prairie of three miles in 

length, then enters a heavy forest. The camp is on a 
small branch, with grass plenty in a small prairie about 
400 yards to the left of the road. 

12. Coon Creek. — Road passes through the timber, and is 

muddy in a rainy season. 
12. Sans Bois Creek. — Prairie near ; some Choctaw houses 
at the crossing. 

14. Bend of Sans Bois Creek. — Indian farm. 

15. South Fork of Canadian, or ' ' Gain's Creek." — Road trav- 

erses a very rough and hilly region. There is a ford 
and a ferry upon the creek. Indian farm on the west 
12. First ford of Coal Creek. — Road crosses over a rolling 
prairie, and at four miles the Fort Washita road turns 
to the left. 
Second ford of Coal Creek. — Indian farm. 

4. Little Cedar Mountain. — Very rough, mountainous road. 
6. Stony Point. — Very rough, mountainous road. 

5. Shawnee Village. — Several Indian houses. 

14. Shawnee Town. — Road passes several small prairies. In- 
dian settlement ; store on opposite bank of Canadian 
River, near the camp. 

21. Delaware Mountain. — Road passes over a very beautiful 
country, with small streams of good water frequent, and 
good camps. It crosses small prairies and groves of 


5. Boggy River. — ^Road passes a country similar to that men- 
tioned above. 
3. Clear Creek. — Road turns to the right near a prominent 
round mound. Beautiful country, diversified with 
prairies and timbered lands. 
7. Branch of Topofki Creek. — Beautiful country and fine 
9i. Cane Creek. — Excellent camp. 
5. Small Branch. — Road passes about two miles from the 
old "Camp Arbuckle," built by Captain ' Marcy in 
1853, since occupied by Black Beaver and several Del- 
aware families. 
m. Mustang Creek. — Road runs on the dividing ridge be- 
tween the waters of the Washita and Canadian, on a 
high prairie. 
17^. Choteau's Creek. — Road passes on the high prairie oppo- 
site Choteau's old trading-house, and leaves the outer 
limits of the Indian settlements. Excellent road, and 
good camps at short distances, 
llf. Choteau's Creek.— Road runs up the creek; is smooth 

and good. 
12i. Head of Choteau's Creek.— Road runs up the creek, and 

is good. 
17i. Branch of Washita River. — Road runs over an elevated 
prairie country, and passes a small branch at six miles 
from last camp. 
5f. Branch of " Spring Creek." — Good camp. 
16. Head of " Spring Creek." — Road traverses a high prairie 

country, is smooth and firm. 
13. Red Mounds.— Road runs over a high rolling prairie 
country, and is excellent. 
5. Branch of Washita River.— Good road. 
15J. Branch of Canadian.— Road continues on the ridge di- 
viding the Washita and Canadian rivers; is smooth 
and firm. 
171^. Branch of Washita River.— Road continues on the "di- 

18. Branch of Canadian. — Road continues on the divide 

from one to four miles from the Canadian. 

19. On Canadian River. — Good road. 

16. Little Washita River.— Good road; timber becoming 

13. Branch of Canadian.— Good road. 



17i. Antelope Buttes. — Koad runs along the Canadian bottom, 

and in places is sandy. 
14. Eush Lake.— Small pond on the prairie. No wood witli- 

in half a mile ; some buffalo chips ; poor water. 

16. Branch of Washita River. — Good road on the divide. 
lOi. Dry Kiver. — Road descends a very long hill, and crosses 

the dry river near the Canadian. Water can be found 
by digging about a foot in the sand of the creek. Good 
grass on the west bank. 

17. Branch of Canadian. — Road winds up a very long and 

abrupt hill, but is smooth and firm. 

22^. Timbered Creek. — Road passes over a very elevated prai- 
rie countiy, and descends by a long hill into the beau- 
tiful valley of Timbered Creek. 

Hi. Spring Branch. — Good camp. 

14. Spring Branch. — Good camp. 

17|. Branch of Canadian. — Road passes a small branch 3^ 

miles from the last camp. 
181 . Branch of Canadian.— Road passes a small branch of the 

Canadian at 8 miles from the last camp. 
I7i. Spring Branch. — Good road. 
9i. Branch of Canadian. — Good road and camp. 
181^. Branch of the Canadian. — Good road and camp. 
lOi. Pools of Water. — Good camp. 
10. Large Pond. — Good camp. 
25. Pools of Water. — No wood ; water brackish. The road 

passes over a very elevated and dry country, without 

wood or water. 
182^. Head of Branch. — At 13^ miles the road crosses a branch 

of the Canadian. 
19|. Laguna Colorado. — Road here falls into an old Mexican 

cart-road. Good springs on the left up the creek, with 

wood and grass abundant. 
7. Pools of Water. — Road runs through cedars. 
lOf. Pajarito Creek. — Grass begins to be rather short in places, 

but is abundant on the creek. 
131-. Gallenas Creek. — Good camp. 

15. 2d Gallenas Creek. — Good road. 

16i. Pecos River at Anton Chico. — This is the first settlement 

after leaving Camp Arbuckle. Corn and vegetables 

can be purchased here. Grass is generally short 


15. Pecos River opposite Questa. — Road runs through the 



cedar, and is firm and good. Camp is in sight of the 
town of Questa, upon a very elevated bluft". 

21f. Laguna Colorado. — Road passes through a wooded coun- 
try for a portion of the distance, but leaves it before 
reaching camp, where there is no wood, but water gen- 
erally sufficient for trains. In very dry seasons it has 
been knoAvn to fail. The road forks here, the right 
leading to Santa Fe via Galistio (45 1^ miles), and the 
left to Albuquerque. 

221^. San Antonio. — Good road. 

18|. Albuquerque. — Good road. 

Total distance from Fort Smith to Albuquerque, 814i miles. 
Total distance from Fort Smith to Santa Fe, 819 miles. 

II. — From Fort Leavenworth to /Santa Fe, hy the 
loay of the tqyper ferry of the Kansas Biver a7id 
the Cimarron. 

[In this table the distances, taken by an odometer, are given in miles and 
luindredths of a mile. The measured distances between the crossing of 
the Arkansas and Santa Fe are from Major Kendrick's published table. 
Wood, water, and grass are found at all points where the absence of them 
is not stated.] 


From Fort Leavenworth to 

2.88. Salt Creek. 

9.59. Stranger's Creek. 
13.54. " 

9.60. Grasshopper Creek. 
6.50. " 
2.86. " 

2.60. " 

4.54. Soldier's Creek. 

2.45. Upper Ferry, Kansas River. 

7.41. Pottawatomie Settlement. 

5.75. Pottawatomie Creek. 

3.89. White Wakarussi Creek. 
7.78. " " 
6.27. " " 

0.73. Road from Independence. — "No place to encamp. 
5.72. White Wakarussi Creek. 


2.51. White Wakarussi Creek. 

2.82. 142-mile Creek. 
7.80. Bluff Creek. 
5.77. Eock Creek. 
5.08. Big John Spring. 
2.29. Council Grove. 

7.97. Elm Creek. — Water generallj. 

8.06. Diamond Spring. 

1.42. Diamond Creek. 
15.46. Lost Spring. — No wood. 

9.25. Mud Creek. — Water uncertain; no wood. 

7.76. Cottonwood Creek. 

6.16. Water Holes. — Water generally ; no wood. 
12.44. Big Turkey Creek. — No water. 

7.83. Little Turkey Creek. — Water uncertain; no wood. 
18.19. Little Arkansas River. 

10.60. Owl Creek. — Water generally in holes above and be- 
low crossing. 
6.39. Little Cow Creek. — Water only occasionally. 
2.93. Big Cow Creek. — Water holes, 10 miles (estimated). 
Water uncertain ; no wood. 
18.24. Bend of the Arkansas. 
^6.66. Walnut Creek. 
16.35. Pawnee Rock. — Teams sometimes camp near here, and 

drive stock to the Arkansas to water. No wood. 
5.28. Ash Creek. — Water above and below crossing, uncer- 
6.65. Pawnee Fork. — Best grass some distance above cross- 
From Pawnee Fork to the lower crossing of the Ar- 
kansas, a distance of 98^ miles, convenient camping- 
places can be found along the Arkansas ; the most 
prominent localities are therefore only mentioned. 
A supply of fuel should be laid in at Pawnee Fork to 
last till you pass Fort Mann, though it may be ob- 
tained, but inconveniently, from the opposite side of 
the Arkansas. Dry Route branches off at 3^^ miles 
(estimated). This route joins the main one again 10 
miles this side of Fort Mann. It is said to be a good 
one, but deficient in water and without wood. 
11.43. Coon Creek. 
46.58. Jackson's Island. 
5.01. Dry Route comes in. 



10.05. Fort Mann. 

25.34:. Lower Crossing of the Arkansas. — The Bent's Fort 

Route branches off at this point. For the distances 

upon this route, see next table. A supply of wood 

should be got from this vicinity to last till you reach 

Cedar Creek. 
15.08. Water-hole. — Water uncertain ; no wood. 
30.02. Two Water-holes. — Water uncertain ; no wood. 
14.14. Lower Cimarron Springs. — No wood. 
20.00. Pools of Water. — Water uncertain ; no wood.' 
19.02. Middle Springs of the Cimarron. — No wood. 
12.93. Little Crossing of the Cimarron. — No wood. 
14.10. Upper Cimarron Springs. — No wood. Pools of water, 

7 miles (estimated). No wood. 
19.05. Cold Spring. — A tree here and there in the vicinity. 

Pools of water, 1 1 miles (estimated). Water uncer- 
tain ; no wood. 
16.13. Cedar Creek.— M'Nees' Creek, 10 miles (estimated). 

Water indifferent and uncertain ; scant pasture ; no 

wood. Arroyo del la Sena, 2^ miles (estimated). 

No water. 
21.99. Cottonwood Creek. — No water. Arroyo del Burro, 5 

miles (estimated). 
15.17. Rabbit-ear Creek. — 10 miles (estimated), springs. 

Round Mound, 8 miles (estimated). No water ; no 

wood; no camping-place. Rock Creek, 10 miles 

(estimated). Grazing scant ; no wood. 
26.40. Whetstone Creek. — Spring; no wood. Arroyo Don 

Carlos, 10^ miles (estimated). Water, etc., to the 

left of the road. 
14.13. Point of Rocks. — Water and grass np the canon, just 

after crossing the point ; scattering shrub cedars on 

the neighboring heights. 
16.02. Sandy Arroyo. — Water uncertain ; no wood. Crossing 

of Canadian River, 4f miles (estimated). Grazing 

above the crossing ; willows. 
10.05. Rio Ocate. — Wood ^ of a mile to right of road; grass 

in the cafion. Pond of water, 13^ miles (estimated). 

No wood. 
19.65. Wagon Mound. — Santa Clara Springs. Wood brought 

from the Rio Ocate. Rio del Perro (Rock Creek), 

17^ miles (estimated). 
21.62. Canon del Lobe. — Rio Moro, 3^ miles (estimated). 



^^^'' Kio Sapillo, 1 mile (estimated). The Bent's Fort 

Route comes in here. 
18.00. LasVegas.— Forage purchasable. 
13 05. Tacolote.— Forage purchasable. Ojo Vernal, 5 miles 

(estimated). No grass to speak of. 
U 00 San Miguel.— Forage purchasable ; no grass. 
2l'81 Ruins of Pecos.— Grazing very scant. Cottonwood 

Creek, 4^ miles (estimated). Water uncertam ; no 

13.41. Stone Corral.— No grass. 
10.80. SantaFe.— Forage purchasable; no grazmg. 

jn. — Camping-places iqjon a road discovered and 
marked out from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to Dona 
Ana and El Paso, New Mexico, in 1849. by 
Captain K. B. Marcy, U. S. A. 


Fort Smith to ^, -, /• -n .. 

C5. South Fork of the Canadian—The road from Fort 
Smith to the South Fork of the Canadian follows the 
same track as the road to Albuquerque and Santa 
Fe, and by reference to the tables of distances for that 
road the intermediate camps will be found. 
15 Prior's Store.— Grass, wood, and water near. 
\n Little Boggy.— Good camp. Wherever there are not 
the requisites of wood, water, and grass for encamp- 
ing, it will be specially noted ; when they are not 
mentioned they will always be found. 
13. Little Boggy.— Good camp. 
15K Boggy Depot.— Store and blacksmith s shop. ^ 
124. Blue River.— The road passes over a fiat section, which 
is muddy after rains. . 

8^ Fort Washita.— Good camp half a mile before reaching 
the fort. The road forks at the Indian village on the 
Boggv, the left being the most direct. There are set- 
tlers along the road, who will give all necessary in- 
formation to strangers. Corn plenty. 
22. Preston Texas, on Red River.— The road from Fort 



"VVasliita runs through the Indian settlements, passin- 
many places where good camps may be found, and 
crosses the Eed River at Preston. There is a ferry 
here ; also stores and a blacksmith's shop. 
20. M'Carty's. — Road runs through a hea\7-timbered coun- 
tiy, crossing several streams where there are good 
14-|. Elm Fork of the Trinity, at Gainesville. — Road passes 
over a section diversified by prairies and groves of 
12. Elm Fork of Trinity. — Good camp. 

1 1. Elm Fork of Trinity. — Excellent camps. Road passes 

over a beautiful country rapidly settling up with farm- 
ers, who cultivate and sell grain at low rates. 
9. Turkey Creek. — Tributary of Red River. Road emerges 
from the upper "Cross Timbers" two miles from 
26f. Buffalo Springs. — Springs of good water, but of limited 
amount, in a ravine. 

12. On a Ravine. — Pools of good water and a small running 

stream, not reliable. 
13\. On a Ravine. — Pools of water. 
17i. On a Ravine. — Pools of water. 

17i. Running branch of Cottonwood Spring. — Branch about 
two feet wide, good water ; wood about half a mile 

14. Fort Belknap. — Good road through post-oak timber. 
County seat and town at Fort Belknap. Good camp 
on the west side of the Brazos, which is always ford- 
able except in very high water. 

14. Small Branch. — ^Water in holes. 

18. Water-holes. — Pools of water. Road passes over prai- 
rie and timbered lands, is very smooth and level. 

7i. Stem's Farm, on Clear Fork of the Brazos River. — 
Good road ; excellent camp, with abundance of wood, 
water, and grass. Indian reservation here. 

13. Elm Creek, or Qua-qua-ho-no.— Good road over rolling 

prairie and mesquite lands. 

17. Ravine. — Pools of standing water. Good road. 

18. Ravine. — Pools of standing water. Good road. 

27. Small Creek.— Tributary of the Brazos. Good road. 
6. Pools of Water. — Good camp. 
8^. Small Branch.— Good water. 


20 2-. Tributary of the Colorado. — Brackish water. 
3j. Rio Colorado. — Brackish water. Road very excellent. 
12^. Spring on the Road. — Good water. 
22^^. Big spring to the left of the road, affording a great 
amount of water, which runs off in a small stream. 
23. Laguna Colorado. — Water somewhat sulphurous; fuel 

mesquite roots ; grass abundant. 
35. Mustang Pond. — This pond is north of the road about 
two miles, and was found in 1849, but emigrants and 
others have not been able to find it since. For this 
reason I would advise travelers to fill then- water-kegs 
at the Laguna Colorado, as in a very dry season 
they might not be able to get any water until they 
reach the Sand Hills. The road is excellent over the 
"Llano Estacado," or Staked Plain. 
Si^. Sand Hills. — Water in holes. The water is good here, 
and can always be relied on as permanent. The road 
through the Sand Hills is very heavy, and I would 
advise travelers with loaded wagons to make half 
31^. Laguna near the Pecos River. — Road passes through 
the hills, and descends the high prairie to the valley 
of the Pecos. Laguna on the left. 
15^. Crossing of Pecos. — Water deep and not fordable ; river 
42 yards wide. A road leads up the eastern bank of 
the Pecos to a ford with rock bottom. Good camps 
can be had at almost any point on the Pecos. The 
water is brackish, but can be used without harm. 
51 K Pecos River. — Point of the river where the road turns 
off toward Delaware Creek. 
9^. Delaware Creek. — Good road after leaving the Pecos 
River. The road on the Pecos is good in the bottom 
in very dry weather, but after heavy rains it is sub- 
merged and very muddy. Travelers should then turn 
off to the bluffs. The water in Delaware Creek is 
llj. Ojo de San Martin.— Pine spring of fresh water, also 
mineral spring. Good road up Delaware Creek. 
J 5^. Independence Spring.— Large spring of excellent water. 

Look out for Indians. 
^1^- C)jo del Camins.— Good spring in the pine timber at the 
base of the mountain. 
4L Peak of the Guadalupe. — Spring at the foot of the 



mountain. Eoad descends the mountain, and is very- 
23^. Ojo del Cuerbo. — Road descends through a very rough 
and sinuous ravine, and crosses a long prairie to camp 
at a pond of standing water. No wood. 

2G. Cornudas (Wells). — Well in the rocks; plenty of water 
for small parties. Road good. 

8|. Sien-a del Alamo. — Road good ; water limited in quan- 
tity. There is a small spring upon the side of the 
mountain. No wood except a few mesquite roots. 
22^. Waco Tanks. — Good water in a large reservoir in the 
rocks. The road here branches, the left leading to 
El Paso and the right to Dona Ana. 

28. El Paso, on the Rio del Norte. — Road good, with some 
sand ; no water upon it. 

The distance from the "Waco Tanks" to Dona Aiia is 
63 miles, but 40 miles of the road is over heavy sand, 
and no water until reaching the mountain, 25 miles 
from Dona Ana. I would recommend travelers to 
take the El Paso road in preference. 

Total distance from Eort Smith to El Paso, 860 miles. 


IV. — From Leavenworth City to Great Salt Lake 


Leavenworth City to 
3. Salt Creek. — Good camp ; wood, water, and grass. 
12. Cold Spring. — To the right of the road, in a deep ravine, 

plenty of wood, water, and grass. 
12. Small Branch. — To the north of the road, in an arroya, 
good wood, water, and grass. Here enters the road 
from Atcheson, 6 miles distant. 
16|. Grasshopper Creek. — Good wood, water, and grass. 
Q\. Walnut Creek. — Road passes a town called Whitehead, 4 
miles from last camp. Water in pools, but f of a mile 
below is a fine spring; plenty of wood, water, and 
1 7. Grasshopper Creek. — Good camp, \vith wood, water, and 



12^. Big Nemehaw, two miles above Richland. — Good wood, 

water, and grass near the creek. 
11. Water-holes. — On the ridge, at the head of a ravine, are 

wood, water, and grass, but in a dry time there would 

be but little water. 
lOf. Vermilion Creek. — Water in the creek not good, but 

there is a good well of cold water near the road. Wood 

and grass good. 
2H. Big Blue River. — Upper crossing, good ford; plenty of 

wood, water, and grass. Fine clear stream, 60 yards 

17^. Branch of the Big Blue. — Camp half a mile north of the 

road ; good wood, water, and grass. 
15. Turkey, or Rock Creek. — Good spring 400 yards to the 

north of the road. Store at the crossing. Good wood, 

water, and grass. 
19. Big Sandy. — Wood, water, and grass good. 
11). Little Blue River. — Road runs across the hills without 

water until reaching camp. Good wood, water, and grass. 
182. Little Blue River. — Camp is at the point where the road 

turns off from the creek. Good camps may be found 

any where on the Little Blue, with excellent wood, wa- 
ter, and grass. Fine running stream. 
15. Little Blue River. — Road strikes the creek again, and 

keeps it to the camp. Good wood, water, and grass. 

19. Elm Creek. — Road leaves the Little Blue, and runs along 

a divide to the head of Elm Creek, where we found wa- 
ter in holes, with some few trees ; grass good. 

20. Platte River. — Road crosses one small branch, where 

there is water except in a dry season. Good camp on 

the Platte, with wood, water, and grass. 
15. Fort Kearney. — Good camp about two miles from the 

fort, upon the Platte, either above or below; grass, 

wood, and water abundant. 
17. Platte River. — Road runs along the river, where there is 

plenty of grass, and occasionally a few cottonwood-trees. 

Here the buffalo generally begin to be seen, and the 

traveler can always get a plenty of buffalo-chips along 

in this section. 
16|. On Plum Creek. — Road runs along the Platte to Plum 

Creek, where there is a little wood, with good grass 

and water. Mail station at the crossing of Plum 

Creek . 



22^-. On Platte River. — Eoad runs along the Platte bottom 
after crossing Plum Creek, and is good except in wet 
weather. The road occasionally comes near the Platte, 
and, although the timber becomes thin, yet places are 
found where fuel can be obtained. Grass is plenty at 
all points. 
23. On Platte River. — ^Road continues along the river valley 
over a flat country where the water stands in ponds, 
and is boggy in wet weather. Camps occasionally on 
the river, but little fuel. Grass and water good. 
14. On Platte River. — Road continues along the valley, with 
the same character as before, but more timber. Camp 
opposite Brady's Island. Plenty of wood, water, and 

17i. Slough. — On the Prairie. Road runs from one to three 
miles from the river. No wood all day; plenty of 
grass, and buftalo-chips for cooking. 

] 5^. Platte River. — Road crosses O'Fallon's Bluffs, where there 
is a good camping-place on the right of the road. Plen- 
ty of wood, water, and grass on a small stream, which 
is part of the Platte. Mail station here. 

1G|, South Platte River. — Road runs along the Platte, with 
no timber. Good grass and water at any point, with 
buffiilo-chips for fuel. 
17. South Platte River. — No timber all day. Good water 
and grass at all points, with buffalo-chips. 
8. South Platte Crossing. — No wood all day. Good water 
and grass, with buffalo-chips. The river is about GOO 
yards wide, rapid, with quicksand bottom, but can be 
forded when not above a medium stage. It is best to 
send a footman ahead to ascertain the depth of water 
before crossing the wagons and animals. 
19. Ash Hollow, at North Platte River. — Road leaves the 
South Fork of the Platte, and strikes over the high 
prairie for 16 miles, when it descends the high bluffs 
bordering the valley of the North Platte, and enters Ash 
Hollow, where there is a plenty of wood and a small 
spring of water. Half a mile beyond this the road 
reaches the river. Mail station and a small groceiy 

102. North Platte. — Very sandy road; no wood; grass and 
water plenty at all points ; buffalo-chips sufficient for 



17. North Platte.— Road sandy in places ; no wood ; good 

grass and water ; som6 buffalo-chips. 
IGk. North Platte,— Road good; no wood; good grass and 

water ; cattle-chips in places. 
18f. North Platte.— No wood. Camp opposite ''Chimney 

Rock," which is a very peculiar formation on the south 

of the road, and resembles a chimney. Grass good. 

Road muddy after rains. 




North Platte.— No wood ; grass and water good. 

"Horse Creek," branch of the North Platte.— In seven 
miles the road passes through Scott's Bluffs, where there 
IS generally water in the first ravine about 200 yards 
below the road. The road then descends the mountain, 
at the foot of which is the Platte and a mail station. 
A little wood can be obtained at Scott's Bluffs ; there 
IS none on Horse Creek 



14^. North Platte. — Eoad follows the river bottom all day. 
Wood, water, and grass on the river. 

12. Fort Laramie. — Road rough and rocky in places. There 

are wood and water plenty, and before many trains have 
passed the grass is good above the fort. Mail station 
and post-office here, with a sutler's store well stocked 
with such articles as the traveler wants. 

10. North Platte. — Road good, but hilly in places. Camp is 

in the river bottom, with plenty of wood, water, and 
grass. Hot spring two miles above here. 

14. Bitter Creek. — There are two roads, both of which lead 

to Salt Lake. The upper or south road is best in the 
spring or in wet weather. I traveled the lower road. 
Wood, water, and grass are good. 

17|. Horse-shoe Creek. — Fine camp, with excellent wood, wa- 
ter, and grass. The road here forks, one passing to th^ 
left over the hills, and the other running nearer the 

2O2-. North Platte River. — Good road along near the river. 
Good wood, water, and grass. Road crosses the river 
at 12^- miles. 

20i. North Platte River. — Road crosses the river again, and 
the camp is two miles above the mouth of La Prell 
Creek. Good wood, water, and grass. 
19. North Platte River. — Road runs along the river, and is 
smooth and good. The camp is two miles above the 
crossing of Deer Creek, where there is a blacksmith's 
shop and store. Good grass, wood, and water. 
16. North Platte River. — Good road, with wood, water, and 
grass at camp. 

13. North Platte River. — Good road passing the bridge, where 

there is a blacksmith's shop and store, also a militar}^ 
station and a mail station. At two miles from camp 
the road crosses the river on a good ford with rocky bot- 
tom. The wood, water, and grass are abundant. 
23. Red Buttes, on the North Platte. — Road is very hilly, and 
in some places sandy ; passes Willow Spring, where 
there is grass and a little wood. Good wood, water, 
and grass at camp. Mail station here. 

11. Sweet Water Creek. — Road leaves the river at the Red 

Buttes, and strikes over the high rolling prairie. Good 
grass and water, but little wood at camp. 

15. On Sweet Water Creek. — Road passes a blacksmith's shop 




and store at the bridge six miles from camp, and at 2i 
miles from the camp it passes the " Devil's Gate" and 
a mail station. The Sweet Water here runs between 
two perpendicular cliifs, presenting a most singular and 
striking appearance. Take wood at the Gate for camp. 
Good grass and water at all places on Sweet Water 


20. Sweet Water Creek. — Eoad muddy after rains, and some 
bad ravines to cross. Wood, water, and grass of the 
best quality at camp. 

12. Sweet Water Creek. — Road runs along the valley of tho 
Sweet Water, where there is plenty of wood and grass 
in places, but little wood at the camp noted. 
8. On Sweet Water. — Eoad good ; no wood ; grass abund- 


20. On Sweet Water. — Road good; no wood. 

17. Strawberry Creek. — Little wood ; grass and water abund- 

ant. Road leaves " Sweet Water," and ascends a very- 
long bill which is very rocky. 

20^. South Pass. — Road crosses the dividing ridge, and strikes 
the Pacific Spring, where there is excellent water and 
good grass if many cattle have not passed, in which 
event the traveler had better continue on down the 
creek which issues from the spring. Sage for fuel ; no 

15f . Dry Sandy Creek. — Grass scarce ; no wood ; some sage 
and greasewood; water bi'ackish, but drinkable; road 
good. Here the traveler should send ahead and have 
the best spots of grass found, as it is very scarce through- 
out this section. Sublette's Cut-ofi" turns off here for 
Soda Springs and Fort Hall. Take the left for Fort 
Bridger and Salt Lake City. 

15. Little Sandy Creek. — Grass in spots along the creek bot- 

tom, and some fuel. 

18. Big Sandy Creek. — Grass in detached spots on the creek, 

and little fuel. 
21^. Green River, Upper Ford. — Grass and fuel on the river. 
7. Green River, at the Lower Ford. — Good grass and fuel 
below the ford. Ferry in time of high Avater. Mail 
station and grocery. 

16. Black's Fork. — Good grass and fuel. 

7. Ham's Fork. — United States bridge, no toll. Good gi-ass 
and fuel. 

12. Black's Fork. — Road forks at the crossing of Black's 

Fork, both roads leading to Fort Bridger. This itin- 
erary is upon the left-hand road, which crosses Black's 
Fork two miles from Ham's Fork. 

13. Smith's Fork.— Good camps along Black's Fork at any 

place, but the road leaves the stream for several miles. 
Wood, water, and grass at the confluence of Black's and 
Smith's Forks. 
18i. Fort Bridger. — Good camps above and below the fort. 
Military post, mail station, and store. 
Muddy Creek. — Good grass, wood, and water. Grass 
short after many trains have passed. It is then neces- 
sary to go up the creek to find good grass. Road passes 
a fine spring 3 miles back. 

19. Bear River. — Good camps, Avith wood, water, and grass. 



Good ford, except in very high water. Sulphur Creek 
two miles back, 
19. Red Fork. — In "Echo Canon," two miles below Cashe 
Cave, good grass and fuel ; water plenty. 
19^. Weber River. — Good grass, wood, and water. Mail sta- 
tion. United States bridge for high water ; no toll. 
5i. Spring Branch. — Good camp. Road leaves the river, 
and takes the left into a valley. 
9. Bauchmin's Creek. — Road crosses over a mountain, and 

descends to the creek, where there is a good camp. 
14. Big Canon Creek. — Road crosses Bauchmin's Creek 13 
times in 8 miles, then ascends the mountain along a 
small creek, which is well wooded and good grass. 
6. Emigration Creek. — Road leaves Canon Creek, and 
crosses the two mountains, which are very steep and 
long. Grass and wood before crossing the "Little 
10^. Great Salt Lake City. — Forage can be purchased here, 
as well as most of the articles the traveler may require, 
at Jiigh. prices. There is no camping-place within two 
niiles of the city. It is best for those who encamp with 
animals to cross the Jordan River, or to stop near the 
mouth of the canon before entering the city. 

Total distance from Fort Leavenworth to Salt Lake City, 
1168 miles. 

V. — Ft'om Salt Lake City to Sacramento and Be- 
nicia, California. 


From Salt Lake City to 
18. Halt's Ranch. — Good road, and grass abundant until 
Bear River is crossed. 
17i. Ford on Weber River. — Good road, and grass abund- 
15. Point of Mountain. — Spring water warm but pure. 
12f. Box Elder Creek. — Excellent water; grass and fuel 
abundant in the canons. 
23. Ferry on Bear River. — Four miles above the usual cross- 
ing. Excellent grass. 



f . West Bank. — Grass not good on the west bank. 
6. Small Spring. — Cross Bear River below the mouth of the 

17i. Blue Springs. — Water and grass scarce, and of poor 

21i. Deep Creek. — Heavy sage, but good grass on the right 
of the road, near sink. 

20i. Cedar Springs. — Good gi*ass on the hills, with fine water 
and wood ; rolling country. 
10. Rock Creek. — Plenty of grass to the left of the road; 
good camping-place. 

14^. Raft River. — Good camp. 

22i. Goose Creek Mountains. — Grass, wood, and water abund- 
ant ; rough and mountainous country. Road from Fort 
Bridger comes in here via Soda Springs. 

17f. On Goose Creek. — Rough, broken countiy, with a good 
road, which runs along the creek for several miles. 

28^. Head of 1000 Spring Valley. — Road runs over a rolling, 
barren section, with but little water except on the river 
far to the right. 

25|. 1000 Spring Valley. — Meadow grass ; good fuel scarce. 
Camps can be found at short intervals along the 
14. Head of Humboldt River. — Fine camping-places, and 
road generally good, running over a rolling coun- 
23. Slough of the Humboldt. — Extensive bottoms of good 

20. Humboldt River. — Along the entire course of the Hum- 
boldt good grass is found in the bottoms. The road, 
which follows the bottom, is hard and smooth, but can 
not be traveled in seasons of very high water, as the 
bottom overflows. It is then necessary to take the road 
on the bluffs, where the grass is scarce. The river, 
when not above a fording stage, can be forded at almost 
any point, and good camps can be found at short inter- 
vals. There are spots along the river bottom where 
alkaline ponds are frequent. These are poisonous to 
cattle, and should be avoided by travelers. It is well 
along this river not to allow animals to drink any wa- 
ter except from the river where it is running. 
20. Humboldt River. — The foregoing remarks apply for every 
camp on the Humboldt River. 



22. Humboldt River. — Good camps along the Humboldt Val- 


23. Humboldt River. 
13^. " 

16i. " 

25. " 
131. " 

24. " 

24:h " 

20i. " 

181. " 

13i. " 

18i. Lawson's Meadows. — The road here forks, the left going 
by the Carson Valley and Sacramento route, and the 
right via Goose, Clear, and Rhett lakes, Applegate's 
Pass of the Cascade Mountains, into Rogue River Val- 
ley, Fort Law, Oregon Territory, Yreka, Fort Jones, 
Fort Reading, and Sacramento River. 

335^. On Humboldt River. — Grass aud water poor all the dis- 
tance to the Sink of the Humboldt. 

19i. Sink of Humboldt River. — The water at the Sink is 
strongly impregnated with alkali ; the road generally 
is good. Travelers should not allow their stock to 
drink too freely of this water. 

26. Head Sink of Humboldt. — Road good. 

45. Carson River. — Road crosses the desert, where there is no 
water for stock, but there is a well where travelers can 
purchase water for drinking. This part of the road 
should be traveled in the cool of the day and at night. 
Grass good, also the water. 

2. Carson River. — Good bunch-grass near the road. 
30. Carson River. — 26 miles of desert; poor grass. 

14. Eagle Ranch.— Good grass and water. Washoe Mines 

near this place. 
13. Reese's Ranch. — Good grass and water. 
12. Williams' Ranch. — Very good water and grass. 

15. Hope Valley. — Road rotigh and rocky. 

3. Near Sierra. — Good camp, with water and grass. 

7. First Summit. — Road rough and rocky; good water; 

grass scarce. 
2. Second Summit. — Road mountainous and very steep; 
snow nearly all the year. 
10. Lakes. — Good camp. 
12. Leek Springs. — Good grass near the road. 


10. Trader's Creek. — Grass and fuel scarce. 
12. Sly Park. — Grass and fuel near the road. 

Forty Mile House. — Water plenty ; grass scarce. 

Sacramento Valley. — Water plenty; purchase forage. 

Sacramento City. — ^Water plenty; purchase forage. 

Total distance from Salt Lake City to Benicia, 973 miles. 

At the Big Meadows, 23 miles from the Sink of the Hum- 
boldt, travelers should make a halt of a day or two to rest and 
recruit their animals and to cut grass for crossing the desert, as 
this is the last good camping-place until reaching Carson 
River. The ground near this place is boggy, and animals 
should be watered with buckets. The camping-ground here is 
on the right bank of the river, and about half a mile to the left 
of the main road. The Avater is in a slough, near its head, 
where will be found some springs which run oft" a short distance, 
but soon sink. 

The road across the desert is very sandy, especially toward 
the western extremity. Twenty miles from the Sink of the 
Humboldt there are four wells. About half a mile east of the 
mail station the road leading to the Avells turns to the right, 
where water can be purchased for from one to two shillings for 
each man and beast. 

At 91^ miles beyond the mail station, on the desert, a road 
turns oft" from the main trace toward a very high sandy ridge, 
and directly upon the top of this ridge is the crater of an ex- 
tinct volcano, at the bottom of which is a salt lake. Upon the 
extreme north end of this lake will be found a large spring of 
fresh water, sufticient for 1000 animals. From thence to " Eag- 
town," on Carson River, is three miles. 

I would advise travelers, when their animals become ex- 
hausted before reaching this water, to take them out of harness 
and drive them to this place to recruit. There is some grass 
around the lake. 

This desert has always been the most difiicult part of the 
journey to California, and more animals have probably been 
lost here than at any other place. The parts of Avagons that 
are continually met Avith here shows this most incontestably. 


VI. — From Great Salt Lake City to Los Angeles 
and San Frayicisco^ California. 


Salt Lake City to 
20f. Willow Creek. — Good grass. 

14. American Creek.— Good grass. 
\\\. Provo City.— Town. 
7i. Hobble Creek.— Good camp. 
6. Spanish Fork.— Good camp. 
5. Peteetneet. — Good camp. 

25. Salt Creek. — Several small streams between. Good 
18i. Toola Creek.— Ford. No wood; grass good. 
6|. Sevier River.— Road is sandy, passing over a high ridge. 
Good camp. 
25^. Cedar Creek.— Road rather mountainous and sandy. 

Good grass and wood. 
17i. Creek. — This is the fourth stream south of Sevier River. 

Road crosses two streams. Good camp. 
3f . Willow Flats. — The water sinks a little east of the road. 
25. Spring. — Good grass and water. 
221-. Sage Creek. — Grass poor; wood and water. 

h\. Beaver Creek. — Good wood, water, and grass. 
27t. North Canon Creek. — In Little Salt Lake Valley. Good 
grass ; no wood. The road is rough and steep for six 
5|. Creek. — Good wood, water, and grass. 
6|. Creek. — Good wood, water, and grass. 
12|. Cottonwood Creek. — Good grass and water. 
9. Cedar Springs. — Good camp. 
23, Pynte Creek, — Good grass one mile up the canon. 
9. Road Springs. — Road is rough ; good camp. 
16. Santa Clara. — Road descending and rough ; poor grass. 
From this point to Cajon Pass look out for Indians. 
17i. Camp Springs. — Two miles before reaching the springs 

the road leaves the Santa Clara. Good grass, 
22|. Rio Virgin, — Road crosses over the summit of a mount- 
ain. Good road ; grass poor, 
39^. Rio Virgin. — Road runs down the Rio Virgin, crossing it 

ten times. Grass good down the river. 
19f. Muddy Creek. — Road for half a mile is very steep and 

sandy. Good camp. 
52f. Las Vegas. — Water is sometimes found 2^ miles west of 



the road in holes 23 miles from the Muddy, and some 
grass about a mile from the road. Good camp. 
5. On Vegas. — Road runs up the river. Good grass. 
17. Cottonwood Spring. — Poor grass. 
29f . Cottonwood Grove. — No grass. "Water and grass can be 
found four miles west by following the old Spanish trail 
to a ravine, and thence to the left in the ravine one 
21f. Eesting Springs. — Good grass and water. Animals should 
be rested here before entering the desert. 
7. Spring. — The spring is on the left of the road, and flows 
into Saleratus Creek. Animals must not be allowed to 
drink the Saleratus water. 
14^. Salt Springs. — Poor grass and no fresh water. 
38f. Bitter Springs. — Good road ; poor grass. 
30|. Mohave River. — Good road and good grass. 
51^. On the Mohave. — Last ford. Good grass all the way up 
the Mohave. 
17. Cajon Pass. — At the summit. 
10. Camp. — Road bad down the cauon. 
Hi. Coco Mongo Ranch, 

10. Del Chino Ranch. — Williams. 
19|. San Gabriel River. 
6. San Gabriel Mission. 
8i. Pueblo de los Angeles. 
65|. Santa Clara River.— On the Coast Route. Good camps 
to San Jose. 
7i. Buena Ventura Mission and River.— Road here strikes 

the Pacific shore. 
26. Santa Barbara. — Town. 
45f. San Yenness River.— At the Mission. 
781. Santa Margareta.— Old Mission. 
28|. San Miguel.— Old Mission. 
24f . San Antonio River. 
26f . Rio del Monterey. 

15f. Solida Mission.— At the ford of Rio del Monterey. 
37^^. San Juan Mission. 
33. San Jose Pueblo. 
75. San Francisco. 


VII. — From Fort Bridger to the " City of JRochs.^'' 
From Captain Hancock's Journal. 


Fort Bridger to 
9. Little Muddy Creek. — Water brackish in pools along 
the creek; tall bunch-grass; sage for fuel. Road 
runs over a barren section, is rough, and passes one 
steep hill. 

12^. Big Muddy Creek. — The road, with the exception of 
two or three bad gullies, is good for ten miles ; it then 
follows the Big Muddy bottom, which is flat and bog- 
gy. The camp is three miles above the crossing. 
Some grass ; sage for fuel. 

141. Small Branch of the Muddy Creek. — Cross the river in 
three miles at a bad ford. A mile above camp the 
grass is good. Eoad generally good. 

19^. On Small Creek. — Road continues up the Muddy 9^- 
miles to its head. It then ascends to the divide be- 
tween Bear and Green Rivers, probably 800 feet, in 
1-| miles. The descent on the other side is about the 
same. The road passes many fine springs. At one 
and two miles back it passes points of hills, where it 
is very rough. Good grass and sage at camp. 

8^. Bear River. — Bad creek to cross near the camp ; thence 
to Bear River Valley the road is good. It then fol- 
lows down the river, crossing Willow Creek, Good 
camp, with a large, fine spring. 
17. Bear River. — Good road along the river ; plenty of wood, 
water, and grass at all points, 

18-i. Foot of Grant's Mountain. — Road runs along Beat 
River; at 2t miles strikes Smith's Fork, a rapid trout 
stream. The road crosses the lower ford. A few 
miles farther on is a bad slough, which can be avoided 
by taking a round on the hills. Cross Thomas's Fork 
on a bridge, also a slough near it ; toll $2.00 for each 
team and wagon. The road then leaves Bear River 
Valley, and turns over a very steep hill. Good grass, 
wood, and water. 
12. Bear River.— Road ascends Grant's Mountain 1200 feet 
in 1^ miles — double teams — then descends again into 
Bear River Valley at 4|^ miles. Good wood, water, 
and grass. 


17f . Indian Creek. — Koad crosses eight fine spring branches ; 
camp is on a beautiful trout stream. Good wood, 
water, and grass. 

11. Spring near Bear River. — Road is hilly, crossing two 
spring branches. Good wood, water, and grass. The 
camp is on the left and near the road. 

11. Bear River. — At Gj^j miles the road strikes a large 
group of springs called "Soda Springs," and here 
crosses Pine Creek, on the left bank of which is a sal- 
eratus lake. Soon after it strikes the main springs, 
and after crossing another creek the " Steam-boat 
Spring" may be seen in the bed of the river. 

15. "Port Neuf," or Rock Creek.— At 2^^ miles the road 
leaves Bear River near where it runs through a canon 
with high bluffs on each side. At this point the Cal- 
ifornia and Fort Hall roads separate. The California 
road (called Hudspeth's Cut-off) then crosses a valley 
between the Bear River and Port Neuf River Mount- 
ains, 9 miles. No water from camp to camp. Good 

15. Marsh Creek. — About two miles above the main road 
the creek can be forded ; a road leads to it from the 
descent into the valley. Road good ; water and grass 
plenty ; no wood. 
16-^. Pannack Creek.— First part of the road is hilly ; the re- 
mainder good. Good camp. 

7^. Mallade River. — At 7i miles the road crosses the Mal- 
lade River. Good camp 140 miles from Salt Lake 
City. Good road. 
22-j^. Small Creek. — The road ascends a ridge through a 
canon, and descends to a valley on the other side. 
From the camp to the summit of the ridge is 61 
miles. The descent is 3-j^ miles. It then crosses a 
valley 8 miles wide, and strikes a canon which leads 
to the top of a hill over a rough road. Plenty of 
wood, water, and grass at camp, but no water between 
this and the last camp. 

9§. Small Creek. — Road after five miles strikes a canon 

with a long but gentle ascent. Two miles from the 

entrance of this canon is a spring branch. There is 

wood and some grass and water at this place. 

11^. Spring Branch. — The road passes througli a canon, and 



at 5 miles strikes the head of a spring hranch, which 
it follows down 2^ miles to the junction with a larger 
branch, which is bridged. At nine tenths of a mile 
another fork enters. Grass very fine here. Road fol- 
lows down this across the main branch, and the camp 
is 2 miles below. Good camp. 
18i. Decassure Creek, or Raft River. — Road continues down 
the creek 2-^ miles, and crosses, then ascends by a 
steep hill to an elevated sage plain, leaving the creek 
at llf miles, and passes a slough with water. Good 

17-^. Spring Branch. — The road crosses the creek near the 
last camp, and follows up a valley, crossing in five 
miles several spring branches. At 2^ miles it 
crosses the creek again, and follows up the valley two 
miles farther, then crosses a high sage plain 8-^ 
miles long, when it strikes a spring 150 yards to the 
left of the road, where there is an excellent camp in 
a beautiful valley. 
10. Junction of Salt Lake City Road. — Road passes several 
small branches in 3 miles, then commences ascending 
through a canon which, in 2^ miles, leads to the en- 
trance to the "City of Rocks," and passes through 
these for three miles. It then crosses a ridge, leaving 
the City of Rocks, and at ten miles from last camp 
intersects the road from "Salt Lake City." (At 1-| 
miles beyond this a road leads off to the right to a 
spring branch, 3 miles, where there is a good camp 
near the foot of Goose Creek Mountain. From this 
point California travelers can refer to the itinerary of 
the route from Salt Lake City to Sacramento.) 

298 sublet's cut-off. 

VIII. — From Soda jS])rings to the City of Bocks^ 
knovm as BJudspetNs Cut-off. 


Soda Springs to 
20. Bear River. — The road runs down Bear River, crossing 

some small streams. Good camp. 
10. Portner Creek. — Camp at the head of the creek. Good 

wood, water, and grass. 
12. Fork of Portner Creek. — Good camp. 
15. Pannack Creek. — ^Road crosses a summit. Good road and 

12. Snake Spring. — Good camp. 
12. Utha Spring. — Good camp. 
15. Decassure Creek. — Road crosses a small stream; rather 

bad crossing. Good camp. 
18. City of Rocks. — Junction of Salt Lake road. Good camp. 

IX. — Sublette's Cut-off^ from Salt Lake City Moad., 
west of South Pass^ to Bear River. 


Junction to 
7. Big Sandy. 
44. Green River. — From the Big Sandy to Green River (upper 
road) there is an abundance of grass in places along the 
road, but no water. 
6. Small Creek. — The road runs up the creek. Good grass. 
4. On the Creek. — Good grass and water. 
12. Small Spring. — The spring is on the left of the road. 
Good grass. 
9. Ham's Fork. — Good wood, water, and grass. 
6. Spring. — On the summit of a mountain. Good grass. 
6. Muddy Creek. — ^Wood, water, and grass. 
10. Spring. — In Bear River Valley. Good wood, water, and 

6. Smith's Fork. — In Bear River Valley. Good wood, wa- 

ter, and grass. 
10. Tomaus' Fork. — Road runs down Bear River. Good wood, 
water, and grass. 

7. Spring Creek. — Wood, water, and grass. 

7. Smith's Ford. — Road crosses over a spur of the mountain ; 
long and gradual ascent ; descent rather abrupt. Good 
wood, water, and grass. 

lawson's meadows to poet readin-g. 299 

The road here connects with Captain Hancock's route 
from Fort Bridger to the City of Rocks. Sec Itinerary No. 

X. — From Laicson^s Meadoics^ on the Humholdt 
Miver^ to Fort Reading^ via Rogue River Yalley^ 
Fort La7%e^ Oregon Territory^ Yreka^ a7id Fort 


Lawson's Meadows to 

18j. Mountain Spring. — Road leaves the Humboldt, and takes 
a northwesterly course 12 miles to a spring of good wa- 
ter. Good bunch-grass to the left of the road, and a 
small spring at the camp. The road is plain on leav- 
ing the river, but after a few days it becomes faint. 
Road from this point passes over a desert country for 
about 60 miles, without good water or much grass. 

38^-. Black Rock Spring. — Road level and hard, with little 
vegetation. In 14 miles pass springs, but the water is 
not good. In 16 miles the road passes a slough which 
is difficult to cross ; water not good, but can be given 
to cattle in small quantities. In five miles from this 
the road passes Black Rock, mentioned by Colonel 
Fremont in his trip from Columbia River in 1843-4. 
Three miles farther pass boiling springs, very hot, but 
good cooled. Grass pretty good. 

20i. Mountain Rill. — Water good; bunch-grass in the vicin- 
ity. In eight miles' travel the road passes a beautiful 
creek of pure water, with good grass. 
5|. Lake (Marshy). 

10^. High Rock Cailon. — This canon is 25 miles long, with 
Ivild and curious scenery. Road crosses the creek fre- 

300 lawson's meadows to foet reading. 


quently, and the mud is bad. In the autumn the road 
is good. 

141 . High Rock Canon. 

Small Creek. — Beautiful country, with the greatest abund- 
ance of water and grass ; also fuel. 

25^. Pine Grove Creek. — Road passes over an interesting coun- 
try, well supplied with wood, water, and grass, and 
passes around the south end of a salt lake. 

18^. West Slope of Sierra. — Road passes over the mountain, 
which is steep but not rocky, then descends to a small 
creek of good water which runs into Goose Lake. 
Good grass and fuel. Look out for the Indians, as they 
are warlike and treacherous here. 
7f . East shore of Goose Lake. — Excellent camp. 

16i. West shore of Goose Lake. — This is a beautiful sheet of 
fresh water; great quantities of water-fowl resort to 
this lake. 

IGf. Slough Springs. — The road passes over a very rocky di- 
vide, covered with loose volcanic debris, very hard for 
animals, and wearing to their feet. They should be 
well shod before attempting the passage. 

18I-. Marshy Lake. — Road difficult for wagons. 
15. Clear Lake. — Beautiful lake of pure water, with good 
grass around its shore. 

25i. East shore of Rhett's Lake. — ^Road tolerable over a roll- 
ing, rocky country, between lakes. The road crosses 
Lost River over a natural bridge, on a solid, smooth 
ledge of rock. 
19. West shore of Rhett's Lake. — Plenty of wood, water, and 

grass along this road. 
21. Klamath River. — Road leaves Rhett's Lake, and enters 
the forest and mountains ; tolerably good. Good 

15^. Cascade Mountains. — The road passes over high mount- 
ains, through lofty pine-trees. Camp is at Summit 
Meadows. Good water and grass, also fuel. 

14i. Western slope of Cascade Mountains. — Rough roads. 

19|:. Rogue River Valley. — Road descends into the settlements 
in six miles, where there is a lovely fertile valley, well 
settled with farmers. 

23|. Fort Lane. — Near "Table Rock," on Rogue River, eight 
miles from Jacksonville. Dragoon post. 

22 J. Rogue River Valley. — Good camp. 


18. Siskiyou Mountains. — Road crosses the Siskiyou Mount- 
ains, and is difficult for wagons. 
18. Yreka. — Flourishing mining city. 
18. Fort Jones. — Infantiy post, in Scott's Valley. 
20. Scott's Mountain. — Good camp at the foot of the mount- 
ain. Road passes over the mountains, but is impass- 
able for wagons. 
90. Shasta City. — Good grass, wood, and water. 
180. Sacramento City. 

XI. — From Soda /Sprmr/s to Fort Wallah Wallah 
and Oregon City^ Oregon^ via Fort Hall. 


Soda Springs to 

25. Portner Creek. — Good camp. Take the right-hand road. 

10. Ross's Creek. — Good camp. 

10. Fort Hall Valley. — Good camp. Road runs down the 

8. Snake River. — Good camp. Road crosses the river bot- 
5. Fort Hall. 

15. Small Branch. — Camp is three miles below the crossing 
of Fort Neuf River, which is fordable. Good Avood, wa- 
ter, and grass. 

10. American Falls. — Good camp. 

13. Raft River. — Road rough and rocky. Sage for fuel ; grass 

17. Bend of Swamp Creek. — Grass scarce. 

20. On Snake River. — Road crosses Swamp and Goose Creeks. 
Wood on the hills ; grass short. 

25. Rock Creek. — Road crosses one small creek, and is very 

rough and rocky for several miles, when it enters a sandy 
region, where the grass is scarce ; sage plenty, and wil- 
lows on the creek. 
24. Snake River. — Road crosses several small branches. There 
is but little grass except in narrow patches along the 
river bottom. 

26. Fishing Falls. — Road very crooked and rough, crossing 

two small streams. 
29. Snake River. — Road crosses several small creeks, but leaves 



the main river to the north, and runs upon an elevated 

plateau. Good grass at camp. 
16. Snake River (ford). — Road tortuous; ford good in low 


19. Small Branch. — Road crosses Snake River, and follows up 

a small branch, leaving the river to the left. Good 
grass. Road ascends to a high plateau, which it keeps 
during the whole distance. 
26. River " Aux Rochers." — Road passes Hot Springs, and is 
rough. Wood, water, and grass plenty. 

22. Small Creek. — Road crosses two small branches, and is 

very rocky, but at camp grass, wood, and water are 

23. Rio Boise. — Road crosses one small creek, and foUows 

along the Boise River. Good wood, water, and grass. 

26. Fort Boise. — Road follows the south bank of Boise River 

to the fort. 
2. Fort Boise. — Road crosses Boise River. Good ford at or- 
dinary stages. Grass good in the river bottom. 

20. River "Aux Matthews." — Good road. Grass abundant, 

but coarse ; wood and water plenty. 

27. Snake River. — Road passes over a rough country. Grass 

scarce and of a poor quality. 

20. Burnt River. — Road leaves Snake River, and takes across 

Burnt River, following up the north side of this to the 

camp. It is mountainous and rough, but the grass is 

good, and there is wood along the river. 
22. Burnt River, — Road continues up the river, and is still 

rough and mountainous. Grass and wood plenty. 
26. Small Branch, — Road passes over a divide to "Powder 

River. " It is still rough, but getting better. The grass 

is good. 
13. Powder River. — Good road ; gi'ass plenty. 

21. Creek. — Road passes a divide, crossing several small 

streams, and is smooth, with plenty of grass and fuel. 

20. Creek. — Road crosses one small branch, and is rather 

rough. The grass and fuel are good and abundant. 

21. Creek. — Road follows down the creek for ten miles, then 

turns up a small branch, and is good. There is plenty 
of grass and fuel. 
12. Branch. — Road crosses a divide and strikes another branch. 
5. Small branch of the Umatilah River. — Good road, with 
plenty of wood and grass. 



16. Branch of "Wallah Wallah River. — Wood, water, anrl 

18. Wallah Wallah River. — Wood, water, and grass. 
18. Wallah Wallah River. — ^Wood, water, and grass. 

Columbia River at Port Wallah Wallah. — Wood, water, 

and grass. 
10. Butler Creek. — Good camp. 

18. Wells's Spring. — Good camp. 

12. Willow Creek. — Good camp. 

13. Cedar Spring, — Good camp. 

6. John Day's River. — Good camp. 

5. Forks of Road. — No camping. Left-hand road for wag- 

ons, and right-hand for pack trains. This itinerary 
takes the left. 
10. Ouley's Camp. — Good camp. 

19. Soot's River. — Good camp. 

6. Fall River. — Good camp. 
10. Utah's River. — Good camp. 
18. Soot's River. — Good camp. 

6. Soot's River. — Good camp. Road follows up the river, 

crossing it several times. 
16. Sand River Fork. — Good grass a mile and a half to the left 

of the road. 
8. Good Camp. 
15. Royal Hill Camp. — Good camp. 

7. Sandy River. — But little grass. 

45. Down the River. — Good camps all the distance. 
25. Oregon City. — Good camps all the distance. 
75. Salem. — Good camps all the distance. 


XII. — Route for pack trains from John Day's 
River to Oregon City. 


John Day's River to 

17. Columbia River. — From John Day's River to the forks of 
the road, and thence by the right-hand fork to the Co- 
lumbia. Good camp. 

2\. Soot's River Ferry. — Good camp. 

15. Dalles. — Good camp. 

25. Dog River. — Good camp. 

15. Cascade Mountains. — One bad place. 
9. Ouley's Rock. — Good camp. 

20. Image Plain Feny. — Good camp. 

15. Portland. — Good camp. 

12, Oregon City. — Good camp. 

Xni. — From IncUa7iola and Powder-horn to San 

A^itonio, Texas. 


Powder-horn to 
4. Indianola, Texas. — Steamers run from New Orleans five 

times a week to Powder-horn. 
14. Chocolate Creek. — Good grass and water; fuel scarce. 
Road passes over a low, flat countiy, which in wet 
weather is heavy and muddy. 
12. Grove. — Grove of oak ; good water and grass. The road 
passes over a hog-wallow prairie, which is very muddy, 
and almost impassable for loaded teams after rains. 
The gi'ass is abundant every where in this section. 
12^. Victoria. — The road is good, passing along near the east 
bank of the Guadalupe River. The country is thickly 
settled with farmers, who sell grain at reasonable rates. 
Grass abundant, also fuel. 

34. Yorktown. — Road crosses the Guadalupe River on a 

bridge ; toll one dollar for a six-mule team. It then 
crosses a low bottom for three miles ; from thence the 
road is good, over a rolling country, with plenty of wood, 
water, and grass. 
33. Cibello River. — Good road ; wood, water, and grass plenty. 

35. San Antonio. — Good road, with plenty of wood, water, 

and grass along the road. The Cibello is fordable at 
ordinary stages. The traveler can procure any thing 
he may need at Victoria and at San Ajatonio. 


XrV. — 'Wagon-road from San A^itonio^ Texas^ to 
El JPaso, JV. M., and Fort Yimia, Cal. 

[Distances in miles and hundredths of a mile.] 

San Antonio to 
6.41. Leona. 
18.12. Castroville. 
11.00. Hondo. 
14.28. Rio Seco. 
12.50. Sabinal. 
13.46. Rio Frio. 
15.12. Nueces. 
10.27. Turkey Creek. 

15.33. Elm Creek. — All good camps, with abundance of wood, 
water, and grass. Country mostly settled, and the 
road very good, except in wet weather, from San 
Antonio to Elm Creek. 
7.00. Fort Clarke. — Good grass, wood, and water. Road 
, level and good. 

7.00. Piedra Pinta. — Good grass, wood, and water. 
8.86. Maverick's Creek. — Good grass, wood, and water. 
12.61. San Felipe. — Good grass, wood, and water. 
10.22. Devil's River. — First crossing. Good wood, water, and 

18.27. California Springs. — Grass and water poor. 

18.39. Devil's River. — Second crossing. Grass poor. 
19.50. Devil's River. — Good camp. The only water between 

Devil's River and Live Oak Creek is at Howard's 
Springs. The road is very rough in places. 
44.00. Howard's Springs, — Grass scarce; water plenty in win- 
ter ; wood plenty, 
30.44. Live Oak Creek, — Good water and grass. The road 
passes within 1^ miles of Fort Lancaster. 
7.29. Crossing of Pecos River. — Bad water and bad camp. 

The water of the Pecos can be used. 
5.47. Las Moras. — Good water, grass, and wood. The road 
is rough on the Pecos. 
32.85. Camp on the Pecos River. — Wood and grass scarce. 
16.26. Escondido Creek. — At the crossing. Water good; 
little grass or wood. 
8.76. Escondido Spring. — Grass and water good ; little grass. 

19.40. Comanche Creek. — Grass and water good ; little grass. 
8.88. Leon Springs. — Grass and water good ; no wood. 




33.86. Barela Spring. — Grass and water pood; wood plenty. 

28.00. Fort Davis. — Good camp. From Fort Davis to Eaglo 

Springs there is an ascent, and one of the very best 

of roads. 
18.42. Barrel Springs. — Water good ; grass and wood fair. 
13.58. Dead Man's Hole. — Good wood and water; grass 

32.83. Van Home's Wells. — No grass or wood, but they will 

be found two miles back. 
19.74. Eagle Springs. — Grass and wood poor; water about 

half a mile from camp, in a narrow canon. 
32.03. Mouth of Canon "de los Camenos." — The road is 

rather rough. From here to Fort Bliss, opposite El 

Paso, the road runs near the river, and camps may 

be made any where. The wood, water, and grass are 

good at all points. 
61.13. San Eluzario. — Mexican toAvn. 
9.25. Socorro. — Mexican town. 
15.00. Fort Bliss, at El Paso. — United States military pogt 

and Mexican town. 
Total distance from San Antonio to El Paso, 654.27 



El Paso to 

22. Cottonwood. — From El Paso to Messilla Valley, in the 
Gadsden Purchase, the road runs up the east bank of 
the Rio Grande to Fort Fillmore (N. M.), where it 
crosses the river into the Messilla Valley. 

22. Fort Fillmore. 
6. La Messilla. 

65. Cook's Spring. — From Messilla Valley to Tucson the road 
is remarkably good, with good grass and water. The 
streams on this section are the Mimbres and San Pedro, 
both fordable, and crossed with little trouble. The 
Apache Indians are generally met with in this country. 
There is a flouring-mill two miles below El Paso, where 
flour can be purchased at very reasonable prices. 

18. Rio Mimbres. 

17. Ojo la Vaca. 
10. Ojo de Ynez. 
34. Peloncilla. 

18. San Domingo. 



23. Apache Springs. 
9. Cabesas Springs. 

26. Dragon Springs. 

18. Quercos Canon. — Bunch-grass will be found sufficient for 

traveling purposes along this section of the road between 

El Paso and Tucson. 
6. San Pedro Crossing. 
20. Cienega. 
13. Cienega Creek., 
20. Mission of San Xavier. 
8. Tucson. — Total distance from El Paso to Tucson, 305 

5. Pico Chico Mountain. 
35. First Camp on Gila River. 
29. Maricopa Wells. — The Maricopa Wells are at the western 

extremity of a fertile valley occupied by Pincos Indians, 

who cultivate corn and other grain. 
40. Tezotal. — Across Jornada. There is but little grass here, 

but in the season the mesquite leaves are a good sub- 
10. Ten Mile Camp. 

15. Oatman's Flat. — First ciossing of the Gila River. 

25. Second Crossing of the Gila. — The traveler can generally 
find sufficient grass in the hills along the valley of the 

32. Peterman's Station. 

20. Antelope Peak. 

24. Little Corral. 

16. Fort Yirnia. 

The distance from El Paso to Fort Yuma is 644 miles. 



XV. — From Fort Yuma to San Diego^ Cali- 

[Distances in miles and hundredths of a mile.] 


Fort Yuma to 

10.00. Los Algodones. — Along the Colorado. 

10.00. Cook's Wells. — Here commences the great desert ; wa- 
ter nowhere good or reliable until arriving at Carizo 
Creek. The points named are where deep wells have 
been dug. ' ' New River, " though usually set down, 
is a dry arroyo. The surface of the desert for seven 
miles on the eastern side is drifting sand and heavy 
for wagons. Then comes a section in the centre of 
the desert that is hard and level. On the west side 
Ihere is about three miles of a mud flat. 

21.90. Alamo Rancho. 

16.40. Little Laguna. 


4.50. New River. 
5.80. Big Laguna. 

20.40. Carizo Creek. — Water good; cane and brush for fuel, 
and they afford some forage for the animals; no 

16.60. Vallecito. — Grass poor; wood and water sufficient. 

1 7.80. San Felipe. — Grass poor ; wood scarce ; water good. 

15.80. Warner's Ranch. — The road passes through a beautiful 
oak grove, where there is an abundance of grass and 
water. This is the summit of the mountain. At the 
Ranch the grass is poor, and no wood. The water 
is good. The oak grove terminates six miles from 

10.30. Santa Isabel. — Good grass, wood, and water. This 
was an old Spanish mission, but is now occupied by 
some Americans and Indians. 

11.40. Laguna. — Two miles from last camp is a good camp- 
ing-place. The road passes over some steep hills, 
not high. This is the best camp on the road. 

12.00. San Pasquel. — For the first nine miles the road is level 
and good to the top of the mountain, where there is a 
good camping-place, with wood, water, and grass; 
thence the road descends a very steep hill. The camp 
is on the east side of the brook, near Soto's house. 

18.80. Parrasquitas. — The road passes a good camp three 
miles from San Pasqual. Wood, Water, and grass at 
8.00. Fisher's House. — The road passes over several hills, and 
at four miles is a good camping-place. Wood, wa- 
ter, and grass at camp. 
San Diego, California. — When animals are to be kept 
a considerable time at San Diego, they should be 
taken four or five miles up the river, as the grass is 
poor near the town. 

Total distance from Fort Yuma to San Diego, 217 miles. 


XVI. — From El Paso ^ Neio Mexico^ to Fort Yuma^ 
California^ via Santa Cruz, 

[Distances in miles and hundredths of a mile.] 


Prom El Paso to 

26.10, Samalayuca. — Spring, with grass and wood. 

38.00. Salado. — Bad water, with little grass and wood. 

24.75. Santa Maria. — Good grass, wood, and water. 

27.50. Mines of San Pedro. — Bad water ; little grass or water. 

19.20. Correlitos. — Good water, grass, and wood. ' 

20.00. Janos. — Good water, grass, and wood. 

12.00. Pelatudo. — Good water, grass, and wood. 

30.00. San Francisco. — Water half a mile south of the road. 

18.00. San Louis. — Good water, grass, and wood. 

35.00. San Bernardino. — Good water, grass, and wood. 

30.00. Ash Creek. — Grass, wood, and water. 

37.00. Head of San Pedro, — Grass and water. 

24.00, Santa Cruz. — Good grass, wood, and water. 

31.00, Cocospe. — Much grass; 10 or 12 miles without water. 
Leave Santa Cruz River at old Rancho San Lazaro. 
No water till reaching the head of San Ignacio, ex- 
cept at nine miles, a spring one mile west of the 

26.00. Hemores. — From Cocospe to Santa Anna follow down 
the San Ignacio, and in many places there is wood 
and grass. Grass is much better at three miles from 
the river. At the foot of the hills there is an abund- 
ance of grama-grass. 
5.00. Terrenati. 
4.00. San Ignacio. 
5.20. Madina. 
5.20. San Lorenzo. 
2.60. Santa Marta. 
5.20. Santa Anna. 

26.00. Alamita, — Plenty of grass. Leave the river 10 or 12 
miles from Santa Anna, and no water thence to Ala- 
mita, which is a small rancho, 

31.20. Altar. — No water; grass abundant. 

13.00. Laguna. — Small water-hole ; grass scanty and poor. 

52.00. Sonia. — Sometimes water is found 25 miles from the 
Laguna, south of the road. There is a well at So- 
nia in the town, and sometimes water in a hole 300 
yards south of the town, 100 yards west of the road. 



10.40. El Paso. — ^Well at El Paso supplying 100 animals; 
water muddy and brackish ; grass poor. 

52.00. Sonorita. — No water on the road ; at Sonorita are sev- 
eral brackish springs. Grass poor; bad camping- 
place ; saltpetre at the springs. 
Quita Oaquita. — No water on the road. Saline spring 
at camp, better than at Sonorita, but the grass is not 
so good. 

10.40. Agua Salado. — Water uncertain ; grass poor. 

23.40. Los Pleyes. — Water only in the rainy season, one mile 
west of the road, hidden by bushes and difficult to 
find. Grass pretty good. 

28.60. Cabeza Prieta. — Natural tenajas in a ravine two miles 
from the road ; follow a wagon-track up this ravine 
between a black and a red mountain. The water is 
good and abundant ; grass tolerable. 

SI. 00. Poso. — No water on the road until reaching Poso. 
Here it is abundant on the east side of the road; 
grass good one mile west. 

13.00. Rio Gila.— But little good grass. 

26.00. Fort Yuma, at the crossing of the Colorado Piver. — 
But little good grass for several miles. 

Total distance from El Paso to Fort Yuma, 756 miles. 

XYII. — From Westport^ Missouri^ to the gold dig- 
gmgs at Pikers Peak aiid '-'- Cherry Creek^'' N. 
T.^ via the Arkansas River. 


Westport to 

41 . Indian Creek. — The road runs over a beautiful country. 
Indian Creek is a small wooded stream, with abund- 
ance of grass and water. 

8f. Cedar Creek. — The road passes over a fine country, and 
there is a good camping-place at Cedar Creek. 

^\. Bull Creek. — The road is smooth and level, with less 
wood than before. Camping good. 

^\. Willov/ Springs. — At nine miles the road passes "Black 
Jack Creek," where there is a good camping-place. 
The road has but little wood upon it at first, but it in- 

'£S PEAK a. 




creases toward the end of the march. The road is 
level for some distance, but becomes more rolling, and 
the country is covered with the finest grass. Good 
camp at one mile from the main road. 

20^. 110-Mile Creek. — The road traverses the same character 
of countiy as yesterday, but with less woodland, is very 
smooth, and at 9 and 12 miles passes "Rock Creeks," 
which have no running water in a dry season. Good 

22i. Prairie Chicken Creek. — At eight miles the road crosses 
Dwissler Creek, which is a fine little stream; four 
miles farther First Dragoon Creek, and at one mile 
farther the Second Dragoon Creek, both fine streams, 
well wooded, and good camping-places. Good camp. 
20. "Big Rock Creek." — At one mile the road crosses a 
small wooded branch. Three miles beyond it crosses 
"Elm Creek," where a good camping-place may be 
found. At 7 miles it crosses 142-Mile Creek, and at 
13 miles it crosses Bluff Creek, where there is a good 
camping-place. Good camp. 
20. "Council Grove," on "Elm Creek. — Road passes "Big 
John Spring" at 13 miles, and is smooth and good. A 
fine camp is found three fourths of a mile beyond the 
"Grove," on Elm Creek, with abundance of wood, 
water, and grass. 
16. Diamond Spring. — At eight miles the road crosses Elm 
Creek, and passes over a section similar to that east of 
Council Grove. It is fine in dry weather, but muddy 
after heavy rains. Good camp at Diamond Spring. 
16. Lost Spring. — One mile from camp the road passes a 
wooded creek. From thence there is no more wood 
or permanent water until arriving at camp. Take 
wood here for cooking, as there is not a tree or bush in 
sight from Lost Spring. The country becomes more 
level, with grass every where. The road is muddy in 
wet weather. 

15|. Cottonwood Creek. — Road continues over a prairie coun- 
try, sensibly rising and improving. Wood, water, and 
grass at camp. 

22. Turkey Creek.— The road is good, and at 18 miles passes 

Little Turkey Creek. No wood, and the water poor 
at camp ; grass good. 

23. Little Arkansas River.— The road runs over a level prai- 



rie, and at 3i miles passes "Big Turkey Creek," with 
the Arkansas River Valley in sight all day. After 
rains there are frequent pools of water along the road. 
Good camp. 
20. "Big Cow" Creek. — The road passes for ten miles over a 
level prairie to Charez Creek, which is a bushy gully ; 
thence six miles to Little Cow Creek, which is a brushy 
stream, with here and there a tree. Good camp here 
to the left of the road, near a clump of trees. "Prai- 
rie-dog towTis" commence to be seen. Road very level. 
Buffalo-grass here. 

20. Big Bend of the Arkansas. — The road at 12 miles strikes 

the sand-hills of the Arkansas River. They are soon 
passed, however, and the level river bottom is reached. 
The river has a rapid current flowing over a quicksand 
bed. The road is generally good from the last camp. 
Wood, water, and grass at camp. 
7. Walnut Creek. — The road is good. Cool springs at this 
camp ; good grass and wood. 

21. Head of Coon Creek. — At five miles the road forks, one 

following the river, the other a ' ' short cut" ' ' dry route" 
to Fort Atkinson, where they uaite on the river. The 
country rises for ten miles on the dry route, then de- 
scends to the river, and is covered with the short buffa- 
lo-grass. N-o wood at camp. 

18. Arkansas River. — The road passes over an undulating 

and uninteresting prairie, with but little vegetation. 
The water in dry weather is in pools. 

19. Arkansas River, at Fort Atkinson. — The road runs over 

a similar country to that of yesterday, with no wood 

near ; plenty of buffalo-chips for cooking, and good grass. 
18i. Arkansas River. — At 4|^ miles the road ascends a bluff 

covered with thick buffalo - grass. On the river is 

heavy bottom-grass. At 17 miles pass a ford. Grass 

good at camp. 
lOy. Arkansas River. — The road is sandy for 14 miles, but not 

deep except in places; thence to camp it is good. 

Good camp. 

22. Arkansas River. — Country prairie, covered with short 

buffalo-grass. Good camp. 
22. Arkansas River. — The road is fine, crossing several dry 
beds of creeks, along which are seen a few scattering 
trees. Good camp on a dry creek near the river. 



24. Arkansas Biver. — The road runs over a barren plain at 
the foot of the main plateau, and crosses two dry creeks 
near the camp, on which are cottonwood-trees. Plenty 
of wood at camp. 

21. Arkansas River. — The road follows the base of the hills 
at from one to three miles from the river. Good 

20. Arkansas River. — At seven miles the road strikes the 
"Big Timbers," where there is a large body of cotton- 
wood ; thence for three miles the road is heavy sand. 
Good camps along here. 

13. Arkansas River. — At one mile the road passes some old 
houses formerly used as a trading-post. Here termin- 
ates the "Big Timbers." Coarse grass at the camp. 

15. Arkansas River. — At three miles the road passes the 
mouth of Purgatoire Creek. Camp is below Bent's 
Fort. Good grass here. 

24. Arkansas River. — Pass Bent's Fort. The grass is excel- 
lent in the vicinity of the fort, but after this it is not so 
good. The road runs over a high and considerably 
broken country. Good camp. 

11. Arkansas River. — Opposite the mouth of the Apishpa 

Creek ; good camp. The Huerfano Mountains and 
Spanish Peaks are in sight from the camp. The 
" Cherokee Trail" comes in from Arkansas near Bent's 
Fort, and leads to the gold diggings at Cherry Creek. 
9. Arkansas River. — Opposite the mouth of the Huerfano 
Creek. Good camp, and a ford opposite Charles Au- 
debee's house. 

12. Arkansas River. — At this point the Cherokee trail bears 

to the right and leaves the river. The left-hand, or 
river road, runs up to the old pueblo at the mouth of 
the Fontaine qui Bouille Creek. The right-hand road 
leads to the gold diggings. 

15|. Fontaine qui Bouille. — The road strikes in a northwest 
course over the rolling country, and comes upon the 
creek at a most beautiful camp, Avhere there is a great 
abundance of good wood, water, and grass. The wood, 
water, and grass are good at all points on the Fontaine 
qui Bouille, and travelers can camp any where upon 
this stream. 

17^. Fontaine qui Bouille. — Here the road forks, one running 
up the river, and the other striking directly across to 





the divide of the Arkansas and Platte. I prefer the 
left-hand road, as it has more water and better grass 
npon it. 
61. Forks of the " Fontaine qui Bouille."— The road to Cher- 
ry Creek here leaves the "Fontaine qui Bouille" and 
bears to the right. There is a large Indian trail which 
crosses the main creek, and takes a northwest course 
toward "Pike's Peak." By going up this trail about 
two miles a mineral spring will be found, which gives 
the stream its name of "Tl^e Fountain that Boils." 
This spring, or, rather, these springs, as there are tw'o, 
both of which boil up out of solid rock, are among the 
greatest natural curiosities that I have ever seen. The 
water is strongly impregnated with salts, but is delight- 
ful to the taste, and somewhat similar to the Congress- 



water. It will well compensate any one for the trouble 
of visiting it. 
17i. Black Squirrel Creek. — This creek is near the crest of 
the high divide between the Arkansas and Platte Rivers. 
It is a small running branch, but always affords good 
water. There is pine timber here, and the grass is 
good on the prairies to the east. This is a locality 
which is very subject to severe storms, and it was here 
that I encountered the most severe snow-storm that I 
have ever known, on the first day of May, 1858. I 
would advise travelers to hasten past this spot as rap- 
idly as possible during the winter and spring months, 
as a storm might prove very serious here. 
14. Near the head of Cherry Creek. — The road crosses one 
small branch at fom' miles from Black Squirrel Creek ; 
it then takes up to an elevated plateau, which in a rainy 
season is very muddy. The camp is at the first timber 
that is found, near the road, to the left. There is plenty 
of wood, water, and grass here. There is also a good 
camping-place at the small branch that is mentioned. 

10. On CheiTy Creek. — There is good grass, wood, and wa- 

ter throughout the valley of Cherry Creek. The mount- 
ains are from five to ten miles distant, on the left or 
west of the road, and when I passed there was a great 
abundance of elk, deer, antelope, bear, and turkeys 
throughout this section. 
7. On Cherry Creek. — Good camp. 

11. On Cherry Creek. — Good camp. 

17. Mouth of Cherry Creek, at the South Platte. — Good 
camp, and a town built up since I passed, called '■'Den- 
ver City.'''' 

Total distance from Westport to the gold diggings, 685 i 

318 ST. Paul's to foet wallah wallah. 

XVlll.— Mom St. PauVs, Min., to Fort Wallah 
Wallah^ Oregon. 


St. Paul's to 
17i. Small Brook. — The wood, water, and grass are abundant 

as far as the ' ' Bois des Sioux" River. 
20i. Cow Creek. — Tliis stream is crossed on a bridge. 
23i. Small Lake. — North of the road. The road passes over 

a rolling prairie, and crosses Elk River on a bridge. 

17. Near Sauk Rapids. — The road crosses Elk River twice 

on bridges ; Mississippi River near. 

18. Russel's. — Ferry across the Mississippi River, then follow 

the Red River trail. Camp is on a cold spring brook. 
6. Cold Spring Brook. — Cross Sauk River, 300 feet wide, 41- 
feet deep. 
19^. Lake Henry. — Road good. 

18f . Lightning Lake. — Cross Cow River in a ferry-boat ; wa- 
ter 42- feet deep. 
17i. Lake. — One mile from Red River trail. Pass White 

Bean Lake. 
^\. Pike Lake. — Pass the South Branch of the Chippeway 
River. Road runs over rolling prairie, and crosses a 
small branch. 
19i. Small Lake. — Cross Chippeway River in a boat. Road 
passes numerous lakes and the best grass. 
9 1. Small Lake. — Road passes rolling prairies, and crosses 

Rabbit River. 
27. "Bois des Sioux" River. — Cross Bois des Sioux Prairie ; 

rolling ground. 
11. Wild Rice River.— Cross "Bois des Sioux" River, 70 feet 
wide and 4 to 7 feet deep, muddy bottom and banks. 
Wood, water, and grass at all camps between this and 
Maple River. 
4I-. Small Creek.— Cross Wild Rice River on a bridge. 
26j. Sheyene River. — Smooth prairie road. 
16^. Maple River.— Cross Sheyene River on a bridge, and sev- 
eral small branches. 
20. Small Creek. — Smooth road; no wood. 
20. Pond. — Wet and marshy ; numerous ponds in sight ; no 

15. Pond. — No wood ; approaching Sheyene River. 
13i-. Sheyene River. — Prairie more rolling ; camp in the river 
bottom. Wood, water, and grass abundant. 

ST. Paul's to fokt wallah wallah. 319 

7. Slough. — Cross Slieyene River, 50 feet wide, 3^- feet deep. 

No wood. 
10. Lake. — Rolling prairie, with many marshes. "Wood, wa- 
ter, and grass. 
101^. Pond. — Low, wet prairie; no wood ; plenty of grass and 

18ir. Marsh. — Smooth prairie, generally dry. 
20. "Riviere a Jaques." — Smooth prairie, with marshes. 

Road crosses the river several times. Wood, water, and 

21^. Pond. — Hilly and marshy prairie, with small ponds, and 

no wood. 
12. Small Branch. — Marshy prairie, filled with ponds, with a 

thin, short grass, and no wood. 
19f. Lake. — On a high knoll. Road crosses the South Fork 

of Sheyene River ; good crossing ; thence rolling prai- 
rie, passing "Balto de Morale," also a narrow lake 4^ 

miles long. 
161. Pond. — Marshy prairie, ponds, and knolls ; cross a small 

branch at 7f miles. No wood. 
17i^. Pond. — Rolling prairie. Cross Wintering River, a deep, 

miuddy stream 100 feet wide, also marshy prairies and 

ponds. No wood. 
16. Small Branch. — Tributary of Mouse River. Road skirts 

the valley of Mouse River, crossing the ravines near 

their heads. 
151. Pond. — Undulating prairie with occasional marshes ; the 

road then turns up the high ridge called "Grand Co- 

teau." No wood. 
201^. Lake. — Hilly road approaching Grand Coteau. No 

20. Lake. — Rolling prairie; smooth, good road; no wood. 
ISj. Pond. — Road passes Grand Coteau at 11 miles, and nms 

between two lakes. No wood, but plenty of " bois de 

vache" for fuel. 
19^. Branch of White Earth River. — Country rolling and hilly. 

Road passes wood at eight miles from camp. 
23i. Pond. — For two miles the road passes over a low, flat 

country, after which the country is hilly. No wood. 
23^. Pond. — Rolling and hilly country, with rocky knobs. At 

18 miles cross branch of Muddy Creek 15 feet wide. 

Wood in ravines near this stream. No wood at camp. 
20. Pond. — Rolling country. At 11 miles there is water in 


a ravine. To the left there is more water, but the 

country is rough. No wood. 
IQi. Fort Union. — Koad descends a hill to the fort; before 

this it passes over high, firm prairie. Good grass near 

in the hills. 
Gk' Pond. — No wood; good grass. 
6. Little Muddy Kiver. — Good camp. 
15i. Creek. — Two good camps between this and the last. 

Wood, water, and grass. 

10. Big Muddy Kiver. — Drift-wood for fuel. 

11. Marsh near Missouri. — Good camp. 

18. Poplar River. — Good camp. One or two good camps be- 
tween this and the last camp. 
23i. Creek near Missouri. — Good camp. 

15. Slough near Missouri. — Good camp. 

171. Milk River. — One good camp between this and the last 

13i. Milk River. — Several good camps passed. 
17^^. Milk River. — Good camp. 
19i. Milk River. — Several good camps passed. 
171. Milk River. — At the crossing. The road follows a trail 
on the bluffs, and descends again to the river. 
7i. Lake. — No wood ; grass and water plenty. 
12i. Milk River. — Second crossing. Good camp. 

12. Milk River. — Good camp. 

15i. Milk River. — Good camps between this and the last camp. 
lOf. Milk River. — Good camp. 
20. Milk River. — Good camp. 

16. Milk River. — Good camp. 

18. Milk River. — At the third crossing. — Good camp. 
7i. Branch of Milk River. — Good camp. 
17i. Branch of Milk River. — Several good camps between 
this and the last camp. 
6. Branch of Milk River. — Good camp. 
19i. Prairie Spring. — No wood ; water and grass plenty. 
13f . Teton River. — Road crosses " Marias River." 
8f . Teton River, at Fort Benton. — A trading-post. 
2i. Small Creek. — Good wood, water, and grass. 
181. Missouri River. — Good camp. 
20l. Missouri River. — Above the falls. Road much broken 

into ravines. "Wood, water, and grass. 
16f . Missouri River. — Road crosses first tributary above Fort 
Benton at ten miles. 

ST. Paul's to fokt wallah avallah. 321 

17. Missouri River. — The road becomes very bad after four- 
teen miles, but is better on the north side of the Mis- 
6. Missouri River. — The road is exceedingly rough and 
broken ; crosses the river. — Good wood, water, and 
11. Tributary of the Missouri. — The most difficult part of the 
road is passed, but the country is still hilly. 

18 J. Tributary of the Missouri. — The road follows up the last- 

mentioned stream to near its head. Good camps. 
15. Near the summit of Little Blackfoot Pass, on a broad In- 
dian trail ; excellent road. 

llf. Little Blackfoot River. — Road crosses the summit of the 
Rocky Mountains. Good road for wagons, with many 

17^. Little Blackfoot River. — Road good, descending along 
the river. Near the camp a large fork comes in. 

281^. Little Blackfoot River. — Good road, which follows the 
broad, open valley for 14 miles. Good camps. 

19 J. Little Blackfoot River. — The valley contracts so that 

wagons will be forced to take the bed of the river in 

some places. The river is fordable, and the trail crosses 

it five times during the day. 
22^. Blackfoot River, — Sixteen miles from the last camp 

" Blackfoot" and "Hell Gate" Rivers enter, and about 

one mile of this distance is impassable for wagons ; 

they would have to cross the river, which is fordable. 

Good camps. 
27^^. Fort Owen. — Road runs up the St. Mary's River to Fort 

Owen over a broad, good trail in the valley. 
40. St. Mary's River. — The south Nez Perces trail leaves the 

main trail, which ascends the St. Mary's Valley to the 

Forks, and follows the southwest fork to its source. 

To the Forks the valley of the St. Mary's is open, and 

admits wagons. 
24. Southwest Fork of St. Mary's River.— The road follows 

a narrow trail, crossing the river frequently, and is not 

passable for wagons. The valley is narrow, and shut 

in by hills. 
5^. Kooskooskia River, — Road leaves the St. Mary's River, 

passing over a high ridge to the Kooskooskia River. 
10. Branch. — Road runs over wooded hills. 
14, Creek, — Road runs over wooded hillb. 



9. Small Creek, — This is the best camp between the St. 
Mary's River and the Nez Perces country. 
15. Small Creek. — Road passes over Avooded hills. 

- 9. Small Branch. — Road passes over wooded hills, is very 

rough and difficult. Poor camp. 
14. Small Creek. — Ten miles from last camp the road passes 
a high divide, ascending rapidly, though not difficult. 
Good grass on the summit, but no water. 
13. Small Creek. — Good camp where the trail emerges from 
the woods on to the high plateau. 
7. Clear Water River. — Large tributary. Road runs over 
high table-laud, and descends to the valley of the river. 
43. Lapwai River. — The road folloAvs a broad trail down the 
river six miles, when it leaves the river bottom and as- 
cends the plateau, which extends to Craig's house, on 
the Lapwai, fifteen miles from the river. 
23. Tributary Snake River. — The trail runs over high ground 
from Craig's to Lapwai River, 15 miles. This river is 
450 feet wide. No wood. Indians are generally found 
here, who feriy over travelers. The trail follows Snake 
River for several miles. 

26i. Tchannon River. — The trail passes 5^ miles up the bot- 
tom of a small creek ; then runs over a steep hill to 
another small creek, 8 miles ; then along the valley of 
this stream 10|^ miles ; thence over a high hill to camp 
on Tchannon River, 3 miles. 

lli^. Touchet River. — The trail crosses the Tchannon River, 
and ascends to a high plain, which continues to camp. 

32^^. Touchet River. — Road follows a good trail along the val- 
ley, where good camps are found any where, with wood, 
water, and grass. 

19^. Fort Wallah Wallah.— Leaving Touchet River, the trail 
passes over again to the plains, when there is neither 
wood, Avater, or grass to Fort Wallah Wallah. 

Total distance from St. Paul's to Fort Union 7121^ miles. 

" " Fort Union to Fort Benton.... 377i " 

" " Fort Benton to Fort Owen.... 255 '' 

" " Fort Owen to Fort Wallah 

Wallah 3401 " 

Total distance from St. Paul's, Min., to Fort Wal 

lah Wallah, Oregon 1685* " 


XIX. — Lieutenant E. F. Beale's route from Albu- 
querque to the Colorado River. 

[Distances in miles and hundredths of a mile.] 

Albuquerque to 
2.10. Atrisco. — Wood, water, and grass. 
20.63. Rio Puerco, — Water in pools; wood and grass. 
19.41. Near Puta. — Abundance of wood, water, and grass. 

13.12. Covera. — Water and grass abundant; wood scarce. 
13.06. Hay Camp. — Wood, water, and grass plenty. 
25.37. Agua Frio. — Wood, water, and grass plenty. 

16.28. Inscription Rock. — Small spring; grass and wood 

16.32. Ojo del Pescado.— Water and grass plenty; wood for 


15.13. Zuni. — Grass and water plenty; wood scarce. 
6.19. Indian Well. — Wood, water, and grass. 

14.43. No. 1. — Wood and grass ; no water. 

11.93. Jacob's Well. — Wood, water, and grass. 

6.57. No. 2, Navajo Spring. — Wood, water, and grass. 

13.62. Noon Halt. — Water by digging; grass and wood 

6.13. No. 3.— Grass abundant. 

7.75. Noon Halt. — Wood, water, and grass abundant. 

7.25. No. 4. — Water in holes; grass and fuel plenty. 

3.60. Three Lakes. — Wood, water, and grass. 

1.75. Crossing Puerco. — Wood, water, and grass abundant as 
far as Leroux Spring. 

11.25. No. 5. 

18.50. No. 6. 

10.17. No. 7. 

13.25. No. 8. 

19.35. Canon Diablo. 

14.75. No. 10. 

13.50. Near Cosnino Caves. 

17.32. San Francisco Spring. 

9.06. Leroux Spring. 

8.48. No. 13. — Wood and grass, but no water. 
11.13. Breckenridge Spring.— Wood, water, and grass abund- 

8.07. No. 14. — Wood, water, and grass abundant. 
6.50. Cedar Spring. — Wood, water, and grass abundant. 

10.50. No. 15. — Wood, water, and grass abundant. 



10.75. Alexander's Canon. — Wood and grass plenty; not 
much water. 

8.05. Smith's Spring. — "Wood, water, and grass abundant. 
8.75. Pass Dornin. — Wood and grass abundant ; no water. 

13.50. No. 19. — Wood and grass abundant; no water. 

16.35. No. 20. — Water two miles from camp ; wood and grass 

4.06. Hemphill's Spring. — Wood, water, and grass abundant. 
21.25. No. 21. — Wood, water, and grass abundant. 

9.75. No. 22. — Wood and grass; spring one mile distant. 

5.50. No. 23. — Wood and grass plenty; no water. 

8.45. No. 24. — Wood and grass; spring three miles off. 

16.75. No. 25. — Wood and grass ; no water. 

7.25. Sabadras Spring. — Wood, water, and grass. 

13,25. No. 26. — Wood; no grass or water. 

8.75. Spring. — Wood, water, and grass. 

1.25. No. 27. — Wood, water, and grass. 

3.17. No. 28. — Wood, water, and grass. 

1.25. No. 29. — Wood, water, and grass. 

3.11. No. 30. — Wood, water, and grass. 

3.25. No. 31. — East bank of Colorado River; wood. 

No. 32. — West bank ; water and grass abundant. 

XX. — Captain Whipple's Route from Albuquer- 
que^ N'eio Mexico^ to San Pedro^ California. 

[Distances in miles and hundredths of a mile.] 


Albuquerque to 
0.88. Atrisco. — Permanent running water. 
12.16. Isleta. — Permanent running water. 
22.78. Rio Puerco. — Water in holes. ^ 
18.30. Rio Rita. — Permanent running water. 
13.77. Covera.— " " 

14.66. Hay Camp.— " 
17.71. Sierra Madre. — No water 


Agua Frio. — Permanent running water. 
xi.-c./. Inscription Rock. — El Moro. Permanent springs. 
14.23. Ojo del Pescado. — Permanent springs. 
11.74. Zuni. — Permanent running water. 
8.83. Arch Spring. — Permanent spring. 

































— No water. 

Jacob's Well. — Permanent water-hole. 

Navajo Spring. — Permanent springs. 

Willow Creek. — Rio de la Jara. Water in holes. 

Rio Puerco of the West. — Water in holes. 

Lithodendron Creek. — Permanent running water. 

Colorado Chiquito. — " 

Colinino Caves. — Permanent water-holes. 

Near San Francisco Spring. — No water ; water 4 miles 

from camp. 
Leroux's Spring. — Permanent water. 

— No water. 

— No water. 

New Year's Spring. — Permanent spring. 
Lava Creek. — Water in hole. 
Cedar Creek. — Water in holes. 
Partridge Creek. — Water in holes. 

Picacho Creek. — " 

— No water. 

Turkey Creek. — Permanent running water. 
Pueblo Creek.— " " 

" — " water in holes. 

Canon Creek. - 

-Water in holes. 

Cactus Pass. — Permanent running water. 
White Cliff Creek. — Permanent running water. 
Big Horn Springs. — Permanent spring. 
MoiTth of Canon Creek. — Permanent running water. 
" Big Sandy" Creek.— 












- 9.06. 




"Big Sandy" Creek. — Pemtiancnt running water. 

Month of Big Sandy Creek. — Permanent running wa- 
ter as far as the Colorado River. 
Rio Santa Maria. 

Mouth of Rio Santa Maria. 
On Colorado River. 

Mojave Villages. 

Crossing of the Colorado River. 









On Colorado Eiver. 

On Colorado River. , ^ , 

—The road, on leaving the Colorado, runs up 

"over a gravelly ridge to a barren niesa, and descends 
the bed of the Mojave 4 or 5 miles above its mouth, 
and at 9t miles it passes springs near the point where 
the road turns around the western base of a mount- 
ain. There is no water at the camp, but grass in an 
arroya. j x 

Pai-Ute Creek.— This is a fine stream, with good water 
and grass. -, , j- • 

Arroyo.— Grass and wood ; water is found by digging. 

Fine Spring.— Good water and grass. The wagon- 
road passes around the hills, but an Indian trail leads 
through the ravine where the sirring is. 

Marl Spring.— This is a small but constant spring ; ex- 
cellent grass, and greasewood for fuel. 



30.00. Lake. — The road follows a ridge for some distance, 
then descends to an arroyo, and in a few miles 
emerges into a sandy plain, where there is the dry 
bed of a lake, which is firm, and makes a smooth, 
good road. The camp is at some marshy pools of 
water. Good grass, and greasewood for fuel. 

12.00. Mojave River. — Road passes through a valley of drifted 
sand, and at the camp strikes the river, which is here 
a beautiful stream of fresh water, 10 to 12 feet wide 
and a foot deep, with a hard, gravelly bottom. Grass 
in the hills near. 

13.00. Mojave River. — The road ascends the river, the banks 
of which are covered with fine grass and mesquite 
wood. Good camps along here. 

20.00. Mojave River. — The road leads up the river for a short 
distance, when it turns into an arroyo, and ascends to 
a low mesa, and continues along the border of alevel 
prairie covered with fine bunch-grass. It then en- 
ters the river bottom again, which is here several 
miles wide, and well wooded. Grass good. 

20.00. Mojave River. — Six miles from camp the road strikes 
the Mormon road, and crosses the stream near a 
Mormon camping-place. The trail runs along the 
river, which gets larger and has more timber on its 
banks as it is ascended. Good grass, wood, and 

22.00. Mojave River. — A short distance from camp the valley 
contracts, but the road is good. It leaves the valley 
and crosses a gravelly ridge, but enters it again. 
Good gi-ass, wood, and water. 

15.00. Mojave River. — Road continues along the right bank 
of the river, in a southwest course, and crosses the 
river at camp. Good wood, water, and grass. 

29.50. Cajon Creek. — The road leaves the river at the cross- 
ing, and runs toward a break in the San Bernardino 
Mountains ; it ascends a sharp hill and enters a ce- 
dar thicket ; it then ascends to the summit of the 
Cajon Pass; thence over a spur of the mountains 
into an arroyo or creek in a ravine ; thence along 
the dry channel of the Cajon Creek for two miles, 
where the water begins to run, and from thence the 
road is rough to camp. 
7.00. Cajon Creek. — Road continues along the creek to 



^^'' camp, and is rough. Wood, water, and grass at 
camp. - 

20 00 Cocamonga's Ranch.— On a pretty stream of running 
" ' water. The road runs for six miles down the Cajou 
Creek, along its steep and rocky bed. It is here a 
good-sized stream. Captain Whipple's road here 
leaves the San Bernardino road, and turns to the west 
along the base of the mountains toward Los Angeles ; 
it then crosses a prairie and strikes the ranch of Co- 
camonga. Wood, water, and grass. 

24 00 Town of El Monte.— The road runs upon the northern 
border of a basin which is watered by many small 
streams, and is settled. The camp is on the pretty 
stream of San Gabriel, where there is a good camp- 
ing-place. •, ,T- • C 

14 25. City of Los Angeles.— The road passes the Mission of 
San Gabriel, then enters a ravine among hills and 
broken ground; it then descends and crosses the 
river which waters the valley, and enters the city. 
There is a good camp upon the point of a ridge on 
the left bank of the river. 

23.00. San Pedro.— Good camp. 

XXI —Fro7n Fort Yuma to Benicia, California. 
From Lieutenant R. S. Williamson's Report. 

[Distances in miles and hundredths of a mile.] 

Fort Yuma, on Rio Colorado, to 

6.51. Pilot Knob. 

5.06. Algodones. 
11.18. Cook's Wells. 
21.11. Alamo Mocho. 
14.16. Little Laguna. 

l'-92' !o?k^of Ro;d.-The left-hand road leads to San Die- 
"■ ■ go, 139.94 miles, the right-hand to San Francisco. 
17.62. Salt Creek. 

28.94. Water in the Desert.— Below point of rocks. 
12.60. Cohuilla Village. 
15.82. Deep Well. 



10.62. Hot Spring. 
7.36. East base of San Gorgonio Pass 

18.29, Summit of Pass. 

27.10. San Bernardino. — Mormon town. 

17.60. Sycamore Grove. 

14.00. Qui-qual-mun-go Ranch. 

26.60. San Gabriel River. — At crossing. 

G.70. Mission of San Gabriel. 

9.00. Los Angeles. 

10.20. Cahuengo Ranch. — At the crossing of a branch of Los 

Angeles River. 

10. 70. Mission of San Fernando. 

5.90. Summit of San Fernando Pass. 

7.15. Santa Clara River, southeast fork. 

15.80. Summit of Coast Range. — In San Francisquito Pass. 

18.00. Eastern base of Sierra Nevada. 

6.70. Summit of Tajon Pass. 

13. 10. Depot Camp in the Tajon. 

31.00. Kern River. — At the crossing. 

10.80. De'pot Camp on Pose Creek, or "0-co-ya." 

24.30. White Creek. 
14.90. More's Creek. 

5.10. Tule' River. 
22.00. Deep Creek. — Deep Creek is the first of four creeks, 
crossed by the wagon-road, into which the " Pi-pi- 
yu-na" divides itself after emerging from the Sierra. 
These streams are commonly known as the "Four 
0.29. Cameron Creek. — The second of the "Four Creeks." 
3.30. Kah-wee-ya River. — The third and principal one of the 

"Four Creeks." 
0. 89. St. John's Creek.— The last of the "Four Creeks." At 
the crossing. 
28.13. Pool's Ferry.— On King's River. 
12.32. Slough of King's River. 

25.73. Fort Miller.— On San Joaquin River, in the foot-hills 
of the Sierra Nevada. 
9.40. Cottonwood Creek. 
7.72. Fresno River. 
12.15. Chowchilla River. — Sometimes knoAvn as "Big Mari- 
10.39. Mariposa River. 
6.03. Bear Creek. 



18.33. Merced River. 
18.87. Davis's Feny. — Tuolumne River. 
28.85. Grayson. — A ferry on the San Joaquin River. 
27.54:. Elk Horn. — The distance is by the wagon-road, and is 

6.90. Summit of Livermore Pass. 

7.20. Egress from Livermore Pass. 
40.42. Martinez. — On the Straits of Carquives, opposite Be- 
nicia, California. 

Total distance from Fort Yimia to Benicia, 800.45 miles. 

XXII. — A new route fro7n Fort Bridger to Camp 
Floyd^ opened by Captain J. H. Siimpson, U.S.A., 

in 1858. 


Fort Bridger to 
6. Branch of Black's Fork. — Wood, water, and grass. 
7i. Cedar on Bluffs of Muddy, — Grass and wood all the way 
up the ravine from the Muddy, and water at intervals. 
5|. Last water in ravine after leaving the Muddy. — Wood, 

water, and grass. 
51 . East Branch of Sulphur Creek. — Wood, water, and grass. 
Junction of Fort Supply road. 
\. Middle Branch of Sulphur Creek. — Sage, water, and 

3. West Branch of Sulphur Creek. — Willow, water, and 
grass ; spring a mile below. 
h\. East Branch of Bear River. — Wood, water, and grass. 

i. Middle Branch of Bear River. — Wood, water, and grass. 
2t. Main Branch of Bear River. — Wood, water, and grass. 
9i. First Camp on White Clay Creek. — Wood, water, and 

6i. White Clay Creek. — Wood, water, and grass. 
15. White Clay Creek. — Good camps all along the valley of 
White Clay Creek, 
f . Commencement of Canon. — Wood, water, and grass. 
\. White Clay Creek. — Good camps all along the valley of 

White Clay Creek to the end of the lower cafion. 
12. Weber River. — Wood, water, and grass. 



6. Parley's Park Road. — Wood, water, and grass. Pass 
over the divide. 
3|. Silver Creek. — Willows, water, and grass. 
6. Timpanogos Creek. — Wood, water, and grass. Cross 

over the divide. 
1. Commencement of Canon. — Wood, water, and grass. 
2i^. Cascade in Canon. — Good camps at short intervals all 
along Timpanogos Canon. 
4i. Mouth of Canon. — Wood and water. 
6i. Battle Creek Settlement. — Purchase forage. 
3i. American Fork Settlement. — Purchase forage. 

3. Lehi (town). — Purchase forage. Grass near. 
2i. Bridge over Jordan. — Grass and water ; wood in the hills 

li miles distant. 
14. Camp Floyd. — Wood, water, and grass. 

Total distance from Fort Bridger to Camp Floyd, 155 miles. 

Note. — Captain Simpson says this wagon -route is far supe- 
rior to the old one in respect to grade, wood, water, and grass, 
and in distance about the same. 

XXIII. — I^roni Fort Thorne^ Neio Mexico^ to Fort 
Yuma, California. 

[Distances in miles and hundredths of a mile.] 

Fort Thorne, N. M., to 
14.30. Water Holes. — One mile west of hole in rock. Water 

uncertain ; no wood. 
9. 19. Mule Creek. — Water at all seasons a little up the creek ; 

wood plenty. 
12.00. Cook's Spring. — Water sufficient for camping; mes- 

quite bushes on the hills. 
19.50. Rio Mimbres. — Water and wood abundant. 
16.30. Ojo de la Vaca. — Water and wood. 
12.00. Spring. — Constant small streams two miles up the 

canon ; water at the road uncertain. 
44.40. Rancho. — Pond of brackish water one mile to the right, 

four miles before reaching here. 
13.90. Rio St. Simon. — Constant water a few miles up, and 

mesquite wood. 



18.40. Pass in the Mountains. — Water on the left about two 
miles after entering the Pass. 
6.40. Arroya. — Wood one mile up; water uncertain; small 
stream crossing the road H miles from last camp, 

26.30. Nugent's Spring. — Large spring. — Excellent water one 
mile south, at Playa St. Domingo. 

17.20. Caiion. — To the left of the road. Water 1^ miles up 
the canon, two miles from the road. 

17.00. Rio San Pedro. — Water and wood abundant. 

16.30. San Pedro. — Water abundant ; wood distant. 

20.80. Cienequilla. — Water and wood abundant. 
7.30. Along Cienequilla. — Water and wood abundant ; road 

21.80. Mission of San Xavier. — Large mesquite, and water 
plenty in Santa Cruz River. 
8.00. Tucson. — Village on Santa Cruz River. Tucson is the 
last green spot on the Santa Cruz River. The best 
camping-ground is two miles beyond the village, 
where the valley widens, and good grass and w^ater 
are abundant. 
7.20. Mud Holes. — The road passes over arroyas, but is 
rather level. 

65.00. Agua Hermal. — Road passes over a desert section, and 
is hard and level. Water is found in most seasons, 
except in early summer, in natural reservoirs on an 
isolated mountain about midway, called "Picapo;" 
poor water and tall, coarse grass at the mud-holes. 
Road here strikes the Rio Gila. 

15.10. Los Pimos. — Road follows the river bottom. Lagoon 
of bad water near camp. Grass good ; plenty of Cot- 
tonwood and mesquite. 

13.20. Los Maricopas. — Road takes the river bottom, and 
passes through cultivated fields ; soil and grass good. 
The Indian village is on a gravelly hill. The road 
is good. 

40.00. El Tegotal. — The road leaves the river and crosses the 
desert. No water between this and the last camp at 
the Maricopas' village. Road is good. The calita 
abounds here, and the mules are fond of it. 

10.50. Pega del Rio. — Road runs in the river bottom, and is 
Rincon de Vega. — Road runs in the river bottom, and 
is level. Good grass. 



10.50. Mai Pais. — Road continues near the river, but over 
low gravel-hills and through a short canon of deep 
9.50. Mil Flores. — Pass over a very steep precipice to an ele- 
vated plateau, thence over gravel-hills 4^ miles to 
camp, whei'e there is excellent grass and wood. 

13.70. Santado. — Road keeps the river bottom until within 
four miles of camp, when it turns over the plateau. 
Good grass. 

16.70. Las Lonas. — Road follows the river bottom. ' Scattered 
bunch-grass on the hills. 

11.40. Vegas. — Road follows along the river bottom. Grass 

16.80. Metate. — Road runs along at the foot of a nigged 
mountain. Excellent grass at the camp. 

14.70. El Horral. — Road ascends to the plateau, which it fol- 
lows for seven miles over a level country, then de- 
scends over gravelly hills to the river. Camp on the 
river bank near the desert. Wood plenty. 

20.80. Los Algodones. — Road runs along at the foot of the 
hills or spurs of the desert ; small rugged hills, vege- 
tation dwarf mesquit, cacti, etc. Good grass at 
7.40. Fort Yuma, on the Rio Colorado. 

Total distance from Port Thorne, N. M., to Fort Yuma, 
571 miles. 

XXiy. — Lieutenant Bryan's Route from the 
Laramie Crossing of the South Platte to Fort 
Bridger^ via Bridger''s Pass. 


Laramie Crossing to 
14. Bryan's Crossing. — Road runs on the south side of the 

Platte. Good grass and water. 
12. First Crossing of Pole Creek. — Pole Creek is a rapid 
stream, sandy bed, 15 feet wide, and two feet deep. 
Good grass on the creek, and wood three miles off on 
the blufl'^. 


37. Second Crossing of Pole Creek. — Eoad runs along the 

creek. Good grass and good camps at any point. 

Good road. 
17i. Third Crossing of Pole Creek. — Good camp. Wood on 

the bluffs. 
20^-. Fourth Crossing of Pole Creek. — Creek dry for three 

miles. Good grass. 
201^. Bluffs covered with dead pines. — Creek is crossed several 

times. Road runs over a rough, broken country. 

Good grass. 
14:^. Road from Fort Laramie to New Mexico. — Road rather 

rough. The valley opens out into a wide plain. Plen- 
ty of grass. 
lOi^. On Pole Creek. — Good road ; good camp. 
20. On Pole Creek. — Road crosses several ravines, most of 

which can be avoided by keeping on the bluffs ; the val- 
ley is narrow. Grass not very good. 
171^. Cheyenne Pass. — Road passes over a rolling country. 

Good grass ; willows for fuel. Military post established 

14^. Summit of Black Hills. — Source of Pole Creek. Grass 

lOi. East Fork of Laramie River. — Good camp. 
16. West Fork of Laramie River. — Good camp. Cherokee 

trail comes in here. 
14. Cooper's Creek. — Wood and grass. 
10^. East Fork of Medicine Bow Creek. — Wood and grass as 

far as Pass Creek. 
2h Small Creek. 

6. Birch Creek. 

5i. West Fork of Medicine Bow Creek. 

2. Flint's Creek. 

3. Elm Creek. 

7. Rattlesnake Creek. 
5. Pass Creek. 

141". North Fork of the Platte. — Good road over high prairie. 

Five miles before reaching the river the Cherokee trail 

turns to the left, and crosses three miles above. Good 

camps on the river, 
3h First Crossing of Sage Creek. — Good road. Grass not 

10^. Second Crossing of Sage Creek. — Road runs through 

Sage Creek Valley ; hilly, broken, and sterile country, 




covered with sage-brush. Grass not abundant. Cher- 
okee trail leaves three miles back. 
4. Third Crossing of Sage Creek. — Road continues through 
sage-brush. Grass gets better. 

3. Fourth Crossing of Sage Creek. — Good grass, wood, and 

9. Bridger's Pass. — Eoad runs over a hilly country, crossing 
several small branches, with a little grass upon their 
banks ; country covered with sage. 
3|-. Muddy Creek. — ^"The valley of the " Muddy" is- deep and 
narrow at first, and afterward opens out. The cross- 
ings of this creek were either bridged or paved by the 
troops in 1858. But little grass in this valley. 

20^. Near Muddy Creek. — Very little grass ; poor camp. 

16J. Bridger's Fork of the Muddy Creek. — The road for thir- 
teen miles runs over a rolling country, then over a 
rough, broken country, Avith deep ravines. No water 
in this fork in a dry season ; small springs of brackish 
water near the crossing. Grass poor. 

4. Small Spring. — Water bad; grass poor. 

2^. Small Spring. — In the bluff. Water bad; grass poor. 
1. Haystack. — Clay butte. Spring in the dry bed of the 
creek. Bunch-grass. 
5^-. Small Springs.— In blutfs on the right of the road. Grass 

poor and water bad. 
7i. Springs. — There is a fine spring at the foot of a steep hill 
on the south side of the road. Very little grass ; rushes 
on the creek. 
3i. South Fork of Bitter Creek. — Good grass and water. 
14i. On Bitter Creek. — Country hilly, and intersected with 
deep ravines. South Fork is a fine stream of good 
16. Sulphur Springs. — Road very hilly, crossing many deep 

ravines. Grass and sage plenty. 
9. Bitter Creek Crossing. — No grass at the crossing. Wa- 
ter bitter when the creek is down, but tolerable in high 
water. Road rough, with numei'ous ravines. 
18^. North Fork of Bitter Creek.— Cherokee trail enters near 
the crossing. Road good, but little grass except in 
spots. Sage for fuel. 
4. Bluffs. — Springs of good water in the elevated bluffs on 
the right of the road in the cottonwood groves. Grass 
good and abundant at the base of the bluffs. 



Hi. Green Eiver. — Koad is very rough and hilly, and winds 

along the valley of the creek. Good camp on the river, 

with plenty of wood and grass. 
15f . Crossing of Black's Fork. — Road runs up through Eabbit 

Hollow, which is steep and sandy ; it then passes over 

rolling prairie to Black's Fork. Bunch-grass on the 

hills, and good camp at the crossing. 
llj. Fort Laramie Road. — Rolling country; good road through 

sage bushes. Good camps along the creek. 
5|. Ham's Fork. — Good camp on either side of the creek. 

United States bridge here ; good road, 
f. Black's Fork Crossing. — Good ford except in high water, 

when the right-hand road on the north bank of the 

creek is generally traveled. 
lih Fourth Crossing of Black's Fork. — Good road; fine 

camp ; plenty of wood, water, and grass. 
2|. Fifth Crossing of Black's Fork. — Good camp ; good road. 
2f. Smith's Fork. — Good camp ; good road. 
11 J. FortBridger. — Good camp near; good road. 

Total distance from the Laramie Crossing of the South 
Platte to Fort Bridger, 520^ miles. By the Fort Lar- 
amie road the distance is 569 miles. 

XXV. — Wa gon- route fr 0771 Denver City^ at the 
Mouth of Cherry Creek^ to Fort Bridger^ Utah. 


Denver City to 
5. Vasquez Fork. — Good road and fine camp. 
ld\. Thompson's Fork. — Road crosses three creeks about five 
miles apart, is good, and the camp is well supplied with 
water and grass, but wood is scarce. 
IGs^. Bent's Fork. — Road crosses two streams about five miles 
apart ; no wood on the first. Good camp. 
26. Cashe la Poudre River. — Excellent road crossing two 
streams at ten and twenty-three miles from the last 
camp ; good camps on both. Cashe la Poudre is a 
fine large stream which issues from the mountains near 
the road, and is difficult to cross in high water. It has 



a firm bottom. Good camps along this stream, with 
plenty of wood and grass. 

16. Beaver Creek. — Eoad turns to the left and enters the 

hills, ascending very gradually between two lines of 
bluffs, and is good except in Avet weather. Good camp. 
19. Small Branch. — Road crosses Beaver Creek three times, 
affording good camps. Road is hilly, but not veiy 
rough, passing for a portion of the distance through a 
timbered region. Elk and mountain sheep are abund- 
ant in this section. The camp is near the summit of 
the divide. Grass short. 

17?. Tributary of Laramie River. — Good road on the divide. 
Grass and water plenty, but wood not abundant. 

182^. Tributary of Laramie River. — Road passes Laramie Fork 
thi'ee miles from the last camp. Good camp. 
21. Tributaiy of Laramie River. — Road crosses a small creek 
at 14 miles from last camp. Fine camp. 

17. Medicine Bow Creek. — At twelve miles the road crosses 

Sulphur Spring Creek, and at the West Fork of the 
Laramie Lieutenant Bryan's road enters. At ten miles 
from the last camp there are two roads — one, Bryan's, 
leading north of the Medicine Bow Butte, and the other 
to the south of it. The former is the best. Good camp. 

171^. Prairie Creek. — Fine camp. A portion of the road is 
very rough. It crosses several small branches upon 
which good camps may be had. Fine game section, 
with beax-, elk, etc., in great abundance. 

12 ?. North Fork of the Platte. — Excellent camp. Leave Bry- 
an's road four miles back, taking the left, which is alto- 
gether the best of the two. The crossing of the Platte 
is good except in high water, when it is very rapid. A 
flat-boat was left here bv Colonel Loring's command in 

12|-. Clear Creek. — Sage for fuel; grass short. 
23. Dry Creek. — Road leaves Bryan's trail to Bridger's Pass, 
and bears to the right, passing over a smooth country 
covered with sage and poorly watered ; passes a pond 
of milky water at thirteen miles. There is water in 
Dry Creek except in a veiy dry season. Two miles 
from the creek, on the old trail, there is a fine spring 
on the left of the road, which runs down into the road, 
and here is the best grass after leaving the Platte, with 
plenty of fuel. 


10 2^.' Muddy Creek.— Eoad leaves the old Cherokee trailat 
Dry Creek, and bears to the left. Good camp for a 
limited number of animals ; fine grass along near the 
bank of the creek. Bad crossing. Buffalo seen here. 

19^^. Lake. — Old trail enters near this camp. Road passes a 
brackish spring four miles back. The road may be 
shortened by bearing to the left and skirting the hills 
for about six miles before reaching the lake. The wa- 
ter in the lake is not good, but drinkable, and will be 
abundant except in the very dryest part of the summer. 
Grass is good on the hills. The road from Dry Creek 
is shorter than the old road by 30 miles. 

24i. Red Lakes.— Road is good, but traverses a very dry and 
sterile region. The water is not good in the lakes, but 
drinkable, and may go dry in midsummer. Grass tol- 
22. Seminoes Spring.— After passing the flats at the Red 
Lakes the road is smooth and good, and there is a good 
camp at Seminoes Spring. 

12i Bitter Creek.— New road to the left, cutting off ten or 
twelve miles. Good camp ; water a little saline, but 
25. Sulphur Spring. — Road runs along the valley of Bitter 
Creek, Avhere there is but little grass until reaching 
camp. Animals should be driven across the creek into 
the hills, where the best grass is found. 
17. Green River. —Road leaves Bitter Creek at Sulphur 
Spring, and passes near some high bluffs, where there 
are small springs and good grass. Excellent camp at 
Green River. From here the road runs over the same 
track as Bryan's road to Fort Bridger. From all the 
information I have been able to obtain regarding Lieu- 
tenant Bryan's road from Sage Creek through Bridg- 
er's Pass, and thence down the Muddy Creek, I am in- 
clined to believe that the road we traveled is much the 
best. It is said that Lieutenant Bryan's route from 
Bridger's Pass to Green River has a scarcity of grass. 
The water is brackish, and the supply limited, and 
may fail altogether in a dry season. The road passes 
through deep valleys and canons, crossing muddy creeks 
and deep ravines. The creeks have been bridged and 
the ravines cut down so as to form a practicable road ; 
but freshets will probably occur in the spring, which 


will destroy a great deal of the work, and may render 
the road impassable. — Lieutenant Duane's Notes. 
The other road is for the greater part of the distance 
smooth, and has a sufficiency of grass in places, but the 
water may become scarce in a very dry season. 

XXYT. — JFrom Nebraska City., on the Missouri., to 
Fort Kearney. 

Nebraska City, on the Missouri River, is a point from whence 
a large amount of the supplies for the army in Utah are sent, 
and one of the contractors, Mr. Alexander Majors, speaks of 
this route in the following terms: "The military road from 
Fort Leavenworth crosses very many tributaries of the Kansas 
River, the Soldier, the Grasshopper, etc., etc., which are at all 
times difficult of passage. There are no bridges, or but few, 
and those of but little service. From Nebraska City to Fort 
Kearney, which is a fixed point for the junction of all roads 
passing up the Platte, we have but one stream of any moment 
to cross. That one is Salt Creek, a stream which is now paved 
at a shallow ford with solid rock. 

"There is no other stream which, even in a high freshet, 
would stop a train a single day. Again, upon this route we 
have an abundance of good grazing every foot of the way to 
Fort Kearney. The route from Nebraska City is about 100 
miles shorter to Fort Kearney than that from Fort Leavenworth, 
the former being less than 200 miles and the latter about 300 

From Nebraska City to Salt Creek is 40 miles. 

" Salt Creek to Elm Creek is 60 " 

" Elm Creek to Fort Kearney is 100 " 

Upon the entire route there is an abundance of wood, water, 
and grass, and camping-places frequent. 


XXVll.—J^rotn Camp Floyd, Utah, to Fort Un- 
ion, New Mexico. By Colonel W. W. Loeing, 


Camp Floyd to 

23. Goshen.— The road runs through Cedar Valley ; is level 
and good for 11 miles, to where the road forks. The 
left runs near the lake, and has good camps upon it. 
Thence to a fine spring, where there is a good camp, is 
3 miles. Grass continues good to the camp near Go- 
shen. Wood, water, and grass abundant. 

14. Salt Creek. — Road runs over a mountain in a direct 
course to a fine spring branch, which runs into Salt 
Creek at 3i miles, where is a good camp; thence 
through a meadow to a small branch 3 miles, striking 
the old Mormon road again opposite a mud fort, where 
there is a fine spring and good camp ; thence into the 
valley of Salt Creek, where there are good camps. 

18. Pleasant Creek.— Near the last camp the road forks, one 
running to Nephi, a small Mormon village, the other to 
Salt Creek Caiion, which is the one to be taken. The 
road runs up the canon 5 miles ; thence up its small 
right-hand fork to a spring, 3 miles ; thence to camp. 
Good camps can be found any where after crossing Salt 
Creek, with abundance of wood, water, and grass. 
191^. Willow Creek. — Road at Q\ miles passes a fine spring ; 
half a mile farther is another spring, where the road 
forks. Take the right through a meadow ; it is 3 or 4 
miles shorter. To the crossing is 3 miles : thence to 
the main road again 3 miles ; to the village of Ephraim 
5 miles. Good camp. 

12. Lediniquint Creek.— At 6 miles pass Manti ; thence to 
Salt and Sulphur Springs is 3 miles. Good camp, with 
a fine spring, wood, and grass. 

15. Lediniquint Creek. — Road passes over a rugged country 
for 4 miles, to a creek ; thence one mile it crosses an- 
other creek ; thence 2\ miles up the creek, where there 
is a good camp. The road improves, and for 8 or 9 
miles camps can be found by leaving the creek a short 
distance. The creek on which the camp is is muddy, 
with narrow channel. 

18. Onapah Creek, or Salt Creek.— Road is good over a bar- 
ren country to the pointed red hills near the entrance 



to Wasatch Pass, 7 miles. From the red hills cross 
Salt Creek 3 times in 4 miles ; grass fair at 2d cross- 
ing ; very good at 3d crossing, and a good camp. Road 
rough for 3 miles after leading the creek. The road 
then enters a fine valley, with plenty of blue and bunch 
grass. Road is level to Avithin a mile of the camp. 
Wood, water, and grass abundant at camp. 
7i. Head of Branch of Salt Creek. — Road runs over a ridge 
at 2 miles, thence one mile to a small branch. Grass 
abimdant. Road runs along the branch 3 iniles; in 
places very rough, with some sand ; ascends the entire 
distance, and the camp is very elevated. Good spring 
at camp. 
5h Salt Creek. -^Road passes over a ridge 2k miles to a 
spring. Good camp at this spring. Colonel Loring 
worked the road at this place. It crosses the creek 6 
times within the 5f miles. Good camp, with abund- 
ance of wood, water, and grass. 
Gk. Silver Creek. — Road traverses a rolling section, is good, 
passes several springs where there are good camps, and 
crosses several trails which lead from California to New 

171^. Media Creek. — At two miles the road passes the dividing 
ridge between the waters of Salt Lake and Green River ; 
thence two miles' descent to Shipley Creek, where is a 
good camp. Eor about a mile the road is rough, but 
then descends into an open plain where the road is 
good. The ground is rough about the camp, and cov- 
ered with sage and greasewood. Two miles up the 
creek, near the canon, is some grass, but it is not abund- 
ant here. 

19f. St. Raphael Creek. — Road passes a rolling section for 5 
iniles ; thence li mile to Garamboyer Creek, where 
there is a good camp ; thence, with the exception of a 
short distance, the road is good to the Knobs, 9 miles, 
when it is broken for 4^- miles. Good camp. 

11|. San Matio Creek. — For 3 miles the road is over a rolling 
section, with steep hills, to a creek, where is a good 
camp ; thence, for 3 miles along the creek, soft soil 
and heavy road ; thence 5 miles to another creek, some 
grass, but not plenty ; thence to camp the road is rough 
in places. Good camp. 

14^. In the Hills. — Road runs over a rolling country 2i miles 



to San Marcos, or Tanoje Creek, where there is good 
grass and water, with sage. Two miles farther over a 
gravelly road, then a good plain road for 9| miles to 
camp. Good wood, water, and grass. 

23. Spring. — Road for the first ten miles is rocky, when it 
strikes a spring, where there is a good camp ; thence 2 
miles to water in a tank, not permanent ; thence the 
road is on a ridge for 6 miles, and is good ; thence 3 
miles the road is sandy. The spring at camp is large, 
with plenty of wood, but the grass is scarce. Down 
the creek it is more abundant. 

18. Green River. — For 5 miles the road is sandy; thence the 
road is good for the remainder of the distance to camp, 
where there is plenty of wood, water, and grass. 

13. 13-Mile Spring. — Green River can be forded at ordinary 
stages. Road runs among several arroyas for a few 
miles, and is then straight and good to camp. Good 
grass a mile to the east of camp. 
An AiToya. — Road runs between two rocky buttes, and 
strikes the Mormon trail, which leaves Green River at 
the same place, but is very tortuous. Water not per- 
manent here ; good grass three fourths of a mile from 
20i. Cottonwood Creek. — Road passes over a broken country 
to a water-hole, 9 miles ; grass abundant ; thence there 
is sand in places; crosses several arroyas. Camp is 
between two mountains. Wood, water, and grass 

12. Grand River. — Road is over a rolling country; in places 

light sand and heavy for wagons. Good camp. 

13. Grand River. — Road is rolling and sandy. The Mormon 

road runs nearer the mountains, and Colonel Loring 
thinks it is better than the one he traveled. Good camp. 
16|. 11^ mile from Grand River. — The first 3 miles is level, 
then the road passes over a very elevated ridge, and 
descends into the valley. Grand River runs through a 
canon, and can not be reached with the animals. 
Road in places sandy. Good camp. 
9i. Grand River. — At two miles strike Salt Creek, where the 
Mormon road passes up a dry creek toward Gray 
Mountain. Road skirts the mountains along Grand 
River, and is rough in places, passing over abnipt 
hills. Good camp. 



16|. Grand River. — Road runs over a level and firm section, 
with good camps at any point along the river. Cross 
the Mormon and other trails. Good ford at the cross- 
ing except in high water. Good camp. 

18i. On an Arroya. — Road runs over an undulating surface, 
crossing several small streams issuing from Elk Mount- 
ain, affording good camps at almost any place, and 
strikes Marcy's and Gunnison's trails. Good camp. 

15|r. Grand River. — Rolling country; high ridges with abrupt 
slopes for 6i miles ; thence into a plain for Ti miles 
to Double Creek. Good camps. 

12. Oncompagre River. — Good ford except in high water. 

At 6 miles cross a dry creek; thence 3 miles over a 
high, level, and firm road; strike a large trail; de- 
scend a hill with gentle slope into the Valley of On- 
compagre, where there are fine camps. Winter resort 
for Ute Indians. 
14^. Oncompagre River. — Road runs along the valley of the 
Oncompagre, is good, and camps may be found at any 
point, with plenty of wood, water, and grass. 

13. Cedar Creek. — Road leaves the Oncompagre, and bears 

to the east up Cedar Creek to the gap in the mount- 
ains, 6 miles ; thence up the valley of Cedar Creek to 
camp, where are wood, water, and grass. Tlie Gap is 
the first opening in the mountains above the mouth of 
the Oncompagre. 

8|. Devil's Creek. — Road runs to the head of Cedar Creek, 
over the divide, into the valley of Devil's Creek, and is 
rough, with a steep descent. Camp is near a narrow 
canon called Devil's Gate, with high perpendicular 
bluffs. Good camp. 
3. North Fork of Devil's Creek. — Road very rocky, and 
worked by Colonel Loring. Marcy's and Gunnison's 
trails pass here. Good camp. 

7i. Cebola Creek. — Road passes over abrupt hills covered 
with pine. Good camp. 

5j. Ruidos Creek. — Road rough, with abrupt ascents and de- 
scents. Fine creek 5 feet wide, and good camp. 

13. Grand River. — Road rather smooth for the first 3 miles, 
then rough and rocky, crossing several creeks, and de- 
scending into the valley of the Grand or Eagle-tail 
River, where is a good camp. Plenty of brook trout in 
all the streams in this section. 



14^. Grand River. — Road crosses the river three times ; bot- 
tom wide; grass and wood abundant. Cross several 
beautiful streams, upon which are good camps. Some 
sand and rough places, but generally good road. Game 
and brook trout abundant in this region. Indians re- 
sort to this section a great deal. 
18. Cutebetope Creek.-:— At about 5 miles the Cutebetope 
Creek enters, forming at the confluence a beautiful 
valley, which the road crosses, and strikes the creek 
near the Point of Rocks, where the valley is only 40 
yards wide, but after passing the Point it opens again. 
The course of the creek is nearly north. Good camjjs. 
20. Spring near Beaver Creek. — Road crosses several small 
creeks, where are good camping-places. Good camp. 

16f. Sawatch Creek. — Road runs over a very rough and 
mountainous section for 14 miles to the summit of the 
Rocky Mountains ; thence it descends to camp, where 
grass, wood, and water are abundant. 

2H. Sawatch Creek. — Road rough and rocky in places; 
strikes the main Sawatch Creek at 95^ miles ; crosses 
numerous small branches, where are grass, wood, and 
good water in abundance. 

25-2-. Camero Creek. — Road for 7 miles, to Sawatch Buttes, is 
good ; thence 1^ mile to the last crossing of the Sa- 
watch, where is a good camping-place. Good camp at 
Camero Creek. 
82^. Garita Creek. — Good road and good camp. 

16k- Rio Grande. — Road level and good. Good camps along 
the river at almost any point. 
6. Rio Grande. — Good road and camp. 

17i. Fort Garland, Hay Camp. — Road continues down the 
river, and is good. For six miles there is timber, but 
after this willow is the only wood to camp. Good road. 
Hay is cut at this place for Forts Massachusetts and 
16. Culebra Creek. — At 4f miles cross Trinchera Creek, 
where is a good camp. Road rather sandy. Good 
camps any where on Culebra Creek. 

241 . Latos Creek. — Road tolerable to Costilla Creek, lOf miles. 
Good camp. 
14. Ascequia, near Lama Creek. — Road crosses several small 
branches. At 9| miles strike Red River. Grass at 
camp good, but not abundant. 



19f. Meadow near Indian Puebla. — At 6 miles the road crosses 
the San Christobal ; thence over another ridge into the 
valley of the Kio Hondo. Camp 2 miles from Taos. 
2. Taos, New Mexico. — Good road. At Taos are several 
stores, where goods of all descriptions can be had at 
fair prices. 
13. Taos Creek Canon. — Eoad passes through the settlement, 
where grain and vegetables can be obtained. It then 
enters the Taos Canon at 3 miles, and crosses the Canon 
Creek frequently to camp. Good camp. 
29. Gaudelapepita. — At 5 miles the road ascends to the di- 
viding ridge, and is tolerable ; thence in 4 miles cross 
the mountain, and reach a fine spring branch, where is 
a fine camp. Thence the road passes short ridges for 9 
miles to Black Lake. Good camp. 
Fort Union. — Road follows Coyote Cailon 3 miles ; thence 
one mile to Mexican settlement ; thence 195^ miles over 
the prairie to the fort. 

Colonel Loring came over the route from Camp Floyd to 
Fort Union with a large train of wagons. He, however, found 
the road in many places upon the mountains very rough, and 
it will require working before it will be suitable for general 
travel with loaded wagons. It is an excellent route for sum- 
mer travel with pack trains, and is well supplied with the requi- 
sites for encamping. 

From Fort Union to Fort Garland the road passes through a 
settled country, where supplies of grain and vegetables can at 
all times be purchased at reasonable prices, and there are small 
towns met with during almost every day's march where small 
shops supply such articles of merchandise as the traveler needs. 


XXVIII. — Wagon-route from Guaymas^ Sonora^ 
Mexico^ to Tuhac^ Arizo?ia. From Captain 
Stone's Journal. 


Guaymas to 
lot. Rancho del Cavallo. — Good wood, water, and grass. 
9. Rancho de la Noche Buena. — Good wood and grass, but 
no water for animals in May and June. 
19f . Eancho de la Cuneguinta. — Good wood, water, and grass 

the year round ; water in tanks and wells. 
15|. Rancho del Posito. — Good wood and grass the year 
round; water for men at all times, and for animals 
except in the months of May and June. 
8. Rancho de la Palma. — Wood, water, and grass at all 
16|. Rancho de la Paza. — Good wood, water, and grass at all 
16. Hermosillo. — This is a town of 10,000 inhabitants, on 

Sonora River, where all supplies may be procured. 
13. Hacienda de Alamito. — Plenty of running water, wood, 

grass, and grain. 
8. Hacienda de la Labor. — Plenty of running water, grass, 
and grain. 
28. Rancho de Tabique. — Roughest part of the road, but not 
difficult for wagons. Wood, water, and grass. From 
Hermosillo to this place there is water at short inter- 
vals along the road. 
36. Rancho Querebabi, — Wood and grass ; water in tanks. 

12. Barajita. — Small mining village. Bad water ; good 

wood and grass. 

13. Santa Ana. — Village on the River San Ignacio. Plenty 

of wood, water, and grass. 

12. LaMagdalena. — Thriving to^vn, where all supplies can be 

5. San Ignacio. — Village on the river. Good wood, water, 

and grass. 
6|. Imuris. — Village on the river. Wood, water, and grass. 
IH. Los Alisos Rancho. — Wood, water, and grass. 
02. La Casita. — Wood, water, and grass. 
3i. Cibuta. — Wood, water, and grass. 
Hi. Agua Zarca. — Wood, water, and grass. 
23i. Rancho de las Calabasas. — Wood, water, and grass. 

13. Tubac. — Silver mines at this place. 

Total distance from Guaymas to Tubac, 295 miles- 


Note. — During the months of July, August, and Septem- 
ber, water will be found at almost any part of the road from 
La Casita to Hermosillo. There is no lack of wood or grass 
on any part of the road from Guaymas to the frontier. The 
only difficulty in encamping at almost any point upon the 
road is that of obtaining water in the dry season, i. e., from 
February to the first of July. The remarks for each place 
apply to the most unfavorable seasons. 

XXIX. — Road from City of Rocks to Honey Lake 
Yalley. Extract from F. W. Lander's Report. 


City of Rocks to 

12.00. Granite Springs. — Around Granite Springs and north 
of it, good grass and water ; the road to the top of 
the mountain good, but great care has to be taken 
going down to 
6.76. Goose Creek. — Keep good watch here against Indians. 
Goose Creek down are some good camping-places, 
and Tip all 

22.34:. Along Goose Creek grass and water is to be found. 
At the head of Goose Creek a camp road leads to the 
northwest, where a few springs furnish water, and a 
large open place bottom-grass. Bunch-grass scarce. 

12.12. Rock Spring. — Water good, but grass only for the first 

5.84. Cold Springs. — Deep wells with grass; bunch-grass on 
the hills. 

18.40. Hot Spring Creek (upper part of Thousand Spring Val- 
ley). — About nine miles from Cold Spring is abun- 
dant grass and a small spring close to the road ; the 
other M'ater in sloughs contains alkali, and therefore 
avoid using it. Hot Spring Creek, with its upper part, 
has good water and grass. A few rocky places on 
the dividing ridge to 

14.90. Humboldt Wells. — Excellent water, good bottom and 
bunch grass. A hot spring, some rocky places and 
crossings in 
4.00. Humboldt Canon. — From this place the road runs along 
the river to Lassen's meadows ; leaves it sometimes 
to avoid canons or soft bottoms; the grass is very 



abundant; the running water good. But good care 
has to be taken that animals do not drink out of 
sloughs, which in the latter part of the season contain 
much alkali. Mules and horses are sometimes sub- 
ject to a peculiar disease, causing a swelling of 
neck and breast ; the best preventive is to put rowels 
through the breast and keep the wound open. Should 
the animals show any symptoms of sweDing, burn with 
an iron three or four scars, deep and long, along the 
neck and breast, and keep these open with blistering 
plaster. I was assured by many mountaineers that 
this is a preventive and sure cure. The road good 
to the 

22.64. Crossing of Bishop's Creek. — Good crossing. 

20.50. Crossing of north Fork of Humboldt River. — Gravel 

32.00. Fre'mont's Canon. — Gravel bottom, but rocks in the 
river bed. 
9.20. Maggie Creek. — Before crossing Maggie Creek, a small 
stream has to be forded; both have grass and good 
water. The road here leaves the bottom and passes 
over the hills to Gravelly Ford. There are some 
springs close to the road, and in the early part of the 
season good and abundant grass. The road has 
some rocky places and steep grades down to 

19.30. Gravelly Ford. — Good grazing ground up and down the 
river; the Humboldt runs about five miles farther 
down through a canon, therefore the road goes 

10.00. Over the hills. 

20.00. Stony Point. — The road good ; Indians are always in 
this neighborhood fishing and hunting, therefore keep 
a good look' out. 

38.00. Foot of hills on the Pah-Utah line. — Fine springs on the 
hill side, with good grass ; the valley to the north is 
covered with sage brush interspersed with scanty grass. 
Before reaching the hills you pass some sloughs with 
bad water. The road over 
6.00. The hills is good. This is now the country of the 
Pah-Utah Indians, a friendly tribe, seldom commit- 
ting depredations. 

17.00. Bend of the river on Tutts' Meadows. — At the bend a 
small spring branch comes in ; the lower crossing is 
sometimes muddy, the upper good. 



44.00. Lassen's Meadows. — Abundant grass on the upper and 
lower part. I advise all emigrants to rest here a few 
days, to cut grass and take it along. Though water 
may be had, grass in the latter part of the season is 
dried up and scarce. 
4.50. Through Lassen's Meadows. — Leave these meadows in 
the afternoon, and camp on 

12.00. Antelope Spring. — The water is very good, but grass 
scarce. A good road over rolling hills to 

15.75. Eabbit Hole Springs. — Water in wells for cooking pur- 
poses, but cattle have to be watered with a bucket. 
The road good to 

18.50. Hot Springs on the eastern side of Mud Lake. — Ani- 
mals may be watered here. A beautiful road over 
the perfect level bottom of Mud Lake brings you to 

13.75. Granite Springs. — Water good, and good grass in a ra- 
vine northwest of the springs. 
4.50. Boiling Spring. — Kemarkable for its temperature and 

7.25. Deep Hole Springs. — Good grass and excellent water. 

16.00. Buffalo Springs. — Road good, water in holes, grass in 
the neighborhood. Over rolling hills and bluff's we 
9.50. Kush Valley. — Upper part of Rush Valley contains good 
water, most plenty of grass, and a few rocky places. 

16.75. Through Rush Valley to Mart Springs. — Very rocky 
after leaving Mud Springs; the lower part of the 
road very good to 

17.00. Honey Lake Valley. 

XXX. — Itinerary of F. W. Lander's Road from 

East Crossing of Sweet -water^ on Salt Lake 
Road^ to City of Rocks. 

3.50. From Gilbert's Station to Aspen Hut.— Good grass and 

water. If the grass has been eaten off" by the Salt 

Lake trains, go 
2.20. To Long's Creek. — Here you have a good camp, the 

grass on the hills being excellent. Willows on creek, 

aspen or mountain cottonwood to left, pine timber to 

left, crossing good gravel bottom. 



2.23. From Long's Creek to Clover Creek. — Good grass and 

3. 14. From Clover Creek to Garnet Creek. — Good water and 

fine grass; aspen timber. From this creek to the 
Sweetwater it is a rolling country, with fine bunch- 
grass. Pine timber as you approach the river. 

4.95. From Garnet Creek to Sweetwater River crossing. — You 
will find this a good camp. Fine grass and heavy 
pine timber a short distance up the creek to right. 

1.59. From the Sweetwater to crossing of Poor's Creek. — Ex- 
cellent grass and fine timber to left of road. Good 
camping-places all the way for nine miles, the road 
following up the stream for that distance. 
11.66. From Poor's Creek to Little Sandy Creek. — Good grass ; 
abundance of pine timber. Four miles from crossing 
the road descends into a large grass plain, called An- 
telope Meadow. A great many antelope here. Camp 
near the rocks, where you can have cedar for fuel. 

5.33. From Little Sandy to Big Hole of Big Sandy. — A good 
laying-up place. A large valley ; abundance of grass 
and pine timber. 

5.00. To crossing of Big Sandy. — Hard pitchy road. A steep 
pitch to go down to the river. 

8.15. From Big Sandy to Grass Spring. — No wood, but fine 

grass and water ; abundance of sage for fuel. 
18.56. From Grass Spring to new Fork of Green River. — This 
distance can be shortened by striking toward a clump 
of timber to the right and finding good camping- 
grounds ; then, by following down this stream to the 
left a short distance, you strike the road at the cross- 
ing, which is good. There is a large island in the 
centre, and the stream on each side is from twenty to 
thirty yards wide. In the spring it is from three to 
four feet deep. You had better raise the beds of your 
wagons. Timber on island and western bank. 
5.51. From new Fork to Green River. — From this point you 
can strike south, and in four miles come to Piney 
Creek, with good grass, and plenty of timber for camps. 
This, howcA^er, can only be done late in the season, 
for in the spring it is marshy, and you had better keep 
the beaten trail, on which you Avill find water and 
grass enough even for laying up. 
8.00. From Green River to White Clay Creek.- Alkali along 



its banks, but clear running water in the bed of the 

5.18. From White Clay Creek to Bitter-root Creek.— Good 

grass ; large willows on its banks for fuel. 
10.32. From Bitter-root Creek to north Fork of Piney.— Wil- 
lows on banks ; one mile to left pine and cottonwood 

3.00. To middle Fork of Piney Creek. — Good grass ; large 
willows for fuel. 

1.51. From middle Fork to mouth of Piney Canon. — Canon 
from a quarter to one and a half mile wide. 

7. 70. From mouth of canon to Piney Fort. — The road through 
the caiion crosses the creek eight different times ; all 
the crossings, however, are good. You will find sev- 
eral camping-spots in the canon between its mouth 
and Piney Fort; you had better lay over at Piney 
Fort, as you have excellent grass, and a block-house, 
with coiTal attached. The country for thirty miles 
beyond is thickly timbered, wiiich will render it nec- 
essary for you to keep careful watch of your stock. 
You should move as rapidly as possible over to Salt 
River. After leaving Piney Fort the road passes over 
a ridge and crosses a small creek within half a mile ; 
thence crosses mountain 

5.19. To Labarge Creek. — Road follows up creek for half a 

mile, crosses and passes along low ridge for a short 
distance, when it strikes the 

2.55. Crossing of small creek in valley. 

• .43. To crossing of another small creek. — Good grass. 

1.39. To crossing of Spring Branch in valley. — Inclosed by 
high ridges. After crossing another small creek, road 
.89. Labarge Valley. — Good grass on hill to right. 

1.81. To junction of Labarge and Spring Creek. — Road from 
this point lies over a mountainous country. 

2.57. From Spring Creek to first branch of Smith's Fork of 
Bear River. — You travel along this stream for one and 
three fourths of a mile. Good grass in timber. 

7.41 To Smith's Fork of Bear River. — Valley narrow ; thick 
growth of willows half a mile up this stream to right 
from where the I'oad strikes it and farther. You will 
find good grass on the hills and in the valley. Road 
follows down Smith's Fork and crosses 



2.04. Little Beaver Creek. 

1.88. From Little Beaver Creek to spring near the top of the 
mountain. — Before reaching this point you pass 
through a small body of aspen timber. Be careful 
here to keep good watch of your stock, as this timber 
is very thick with Indian trails running north and 
south, upon which your stock is apt to stray, and you 
will not be able to recover them. You are now leav- 
ing the friendly Indians and reaching the Pannack 
country. Treat them kindly, or you may have some 
trouble. Road ascends hill for one fourth of a mile, 
then descends gradually. From here to old road 
grass is very abundant in all valleys. 

3.91. To Salt River Valley.— Good grass. 

1.04. To crossing of creek. — Gravel bottom ; road follows up 

2.50. To crossing of Small Spring Creek.— Valley widens, 
and is covered with excellent grass. 

5.95. To Salt River crossing. — Half a mile northeast of cross- 
ing, Janvier's Fork of Salt River, coming in from 
the right, unites with the main stream. 

4.83. Towestbranch of Salt River. — Good grass. Valley at this 
point about four miles wide ; road runs along valley. 

6.47. To Smoky Creek (mouth of canon). — Road crosses creek 
and enters canon, which is one and a fourth mile long. 

2.00. To Red Willow Creek. — You will find good grass in 
the bottom. 

3.00. To Salt Bottom. — Surface of ground in many places 
white with pure and excellent salt. A good laying- 
up place to salt your stock. Water clear and fresh ; 
grass very fine. Here the road leaves valley and as- 
cends bench, crossing several spring branches, keep- 
ing, however, the general direction of the valley. 

4.00. To Kinni-Kinnik Creek Caiion. — Canon one mile long; 
cross creek twice. After crossing seven spring branch- 
es and two small creeks you come 

3.08. To Noon Creek. — You then cross two spring branches 
and come 

2.43. To Flat Valley Creek.— Large valley of fine grass. 

1.75. Crossing of another creek. — Good grass all the way 

2.23. To large Grass Valley, in which is a lake several miles 
long. You travel up valley, on edge of lake, crossing 
two sloughs. At end of valley you come 



10.27. To a creek, which is a branch of Otter Spring Creek. 
— Fine grass. 
1.38. To Otter Spring Creek. — Good grass. 
7.85. To spring in valley. — Water brackish ; good grass. 

.87. To branch of Blackfoot. — Good grass. 
1.85. To Blackfoot River. — Crossing good ; fine grass. You 

leave river here to right. 
3.53. To Granite Creek. — Good grass ; willows on creek. 
1.30. To crossing of creek. 

4.79. To point Avhere road leaves Blackfoot Eiver. • 
1.82. To Thistle Creek. — One mile to right a small grove of 
aspen timber; grass good. Road crosses two small 
4.89. To head of Portneuf River. — Aspen grove and good 

grass at crossing. 
1.24. To road from Soda Springs. 

1.12. To entrance of canon. — Spring branch runs through 
this canon, which is three fourths of a mile long ; 
grass good. 
.89. To small stream coming in from the left. 
9.75. To two small streams emptying into Ross's Fork. — Fine 
. 94 . To Emigrant Road. — Thence follow old Emigrant Road, 
and in one eighth of a mile cross a small branch. 
Road level. 
1.47. To Ross's Creek. — Cross creek and enter canon, which 
is about one and a half mile long. 
11.18. To Snake River Valley and fork of roads. — You take 
right-hand road to Fort Hall, and the left to bridge 
on Ross's Fork. The latter is the main or short road. 
2.38. To bridge on Ross's Fork. — Good grass. Road good. 
8.00. To bridge on Portn»uf River. — Fort Hall is in sight 
from this point, Portneuf Mountains to left. Fine 
grass, but little timber in valley. 
.23. To stream in Portneuf Valley. 
.42. To slough in Portneuf Valley. 
.60. To road from Fort Hall. 
3.15. To Fort Hall and Salt Lake Road. — Road from bridge 
on Ross's Fork lies over a very level country, some- 
times in valleys, but principally on bench land. Wil- 
lows and grass on creek. 
G.50. To Pannack River. — Good grass. 
4.36. To Irvin's old fort. 



6.99. To Big Spring. — At all the above points you touch 
Snake River. This spring is about thirty feet in 
breadth, and is formed of innumerable small ones. 

1.93. To American falls of Snake River. — ^You keep along 
river, and one mile on cross a steep ravine. Timber. 

3.33. To crossing of creek. 

1.G6. To crossing of creek. 

.83. To ravine. — Rocky island opposite mouth of ravine. 
Fine grass ; some pine timber. Within the next three 
miles you cross three ravines with timber and grass. 

5.79. To crossing of creek. — Timber and grass. You cross a 
ravine in half a mile. 

2.91. To Fall Creek. — Steep bank on west side. Timber and 

2.03. Leaving Snake River bottom to right. 

6.16. To Raft Creek crossing. — Good grass; willows for fuel. 

3. 60. To second crossing of Raft Creek. — Good grass. 
11.11. To third crossing of Raft Creek. — Good grass. 

8.81. To forks of road. — Junction of this road and Hudspeth's 

3.50. To crossing of small stream. — Road crosses two small 
streams within the next half mile. 

2.84. To Fork of Raft Creek. — Good grass; willows for fuel. 
10.74. To crossing of creek. — Good grass; no timber. 

2,00. To crossing of small creek. 

2.33. To entrance of rocky canon. — Canon three fourths of 
a mile long. 

1.23. To City Rocks. — Good grass and camp-ground on 
small spring branch. Thence the .usual route to Cal- 

XXXI. — Field-notes of the Location of the Fort 
Midgeley and South Pass Wag 07i-road^ from the 
Missouri River to Fort Bidgeley ; Sam. A. Med- 
ARY, Engineer, 


.985. High bluffs overlooking the Missouri River; country 

.739. Ravine to the Missouri. 
1.922. Country level. 



,705. Country level. 
1.022. Descent to the valley of Beaver Dam Creek; course 
west to the Missouri, and distant 4 miles. Good 
wood, water, and grass. Day's travel, 14.054 miles. 
Erected 60 mounds. Sept. 1, 1857. 
.570. Ascent from the valley to high prairie. 
.809. Country level, and range of ravines to the left. 
2.364. Country level to blulFs overlooking Fort Look-out. 

.671. Country rolling. 

1.097. Summit of coteau between Beaver Creek and Crow 
.604. Rolling prairie. 
.065. Do. 
.194. Deep ravine. 
.614. Summit of coteau, etc. 
.811. Commence descent to Crow Creek. 
1.378. Sept. 2, camped on Crow Creek. Good wood, water, 
and grass. Day's travel, 11.082 miles. Erected 33 
.234. Descent of bluffs to Crow Creek. 

.273. Camp on south side Crow Creek; two creeks emptying 
into creek on opposite side ; well wooded ; good tim- 
ber on this creek to its mouth. Day's travel, 4.174 
miles. Erected 19 mounds. Sept. 3, retraced line 
to Station 27 for higher ground, the valley of the 
creek being soft land. 
.322. Country level. 
2.812. Low prairie. 
1.144. Cross valley of Crow Creek. 
.731. Quantities of cactus, and a large prairie dog village. 
.653. Descent into valley leading to Crow Creek. 
.278. Camped Sept. 4. Water and grass. Distance, 10.24? 

miles ; 52 mounds. 
.299. Country rolling. 
1.334. Country level. 
1.740. Large stone mound. 
.520. Small lake, Sept. 5. 
.819. Same. Distance, 17.588 miles; 78 mounds; 2 miles 

beyond, good water, wood, and grass. 
.297. September 6th. 
.280. Country rolling. 
.417. Top of bluffs. 
.177. Sept. 6, camped at foot of bluffs. Good wood and 



spring. Easy ascent to summit. Distance, 1.709 
miles. Mounds, 22. 
.692. Foot of slope of the bluffs. 
.622. Ascent to coteau of the James. 
2.205. Level prairie. 
2.521. Small shallow lake to-night. 
2.619. Crossing of Sand Hill Creek. 
4.112. Rolling prairie. 
1.037. Top of bluff of James River. 
.164. Foot of bluffs, and high-water mark of the James. 
284. Camp on James River; 82 feet wide; from tops of 
banks, 123 feet. Distance, 23 miles. Mounds, 98. 
Sept. 8, 1857. 
.299. Camp on east bank, Sept. 14. 
.229. Top of bluffs. 

.567. Rolling prairie and marshes now dry. 
11.288. High level prairie. 
.372, Crossed Morse's Creek. 
1.480. Sept. 14, camped on Wolf Creek, 15 feet wide; good 
grass and water. Distance, 18.926 miles; 80 
.900. Country level. 
1.810. Lake Thompson to the left. 
.465. Crossed inlet of Lake Thompson, 
.315. Rolling country. 
.686. Do. 

.097. Rolling ; small country lake. 
1.087. Marshy land. 

.875. Indian fortifications and small lake. 
1 .427. Camped on Lizard Lake ; no wood ; water bad. Dis- 
tance, 18.967 miles ; 92 mounds. September 15. 
.216. Country undulating and filled with small lakes. 
1.415. One mile north lake with timber. 

.366. Small lake to-night. 
1.540. Level country. 
.372. Willow Lake. 
.577. Small lake. 
1.170. Small lakes. ^ , 

.195. Camped on Perrine Creek; good water, grass, and 
wood. Distance, 18.038 miles ; 125 mounds. Sep- 
tember 16. 
.600, Crossed small stream. 
.395. Small lake. 



1.908. Sept. 17, camped on west bank of Big Sioux Eiver, 63 
feet wide ; good wood, water, and grass. Distance, 
5-j^ miles ; 20 mounds. 

.039. Crossing of the Sioux. 

.999. Bottom between Sioux and Medary Creek. 

.705. Bottom of Medary Creek. 
1.313. High prairie. 

.687. Do. 

.827. Do. 

.540. Do. 
2.448. Do. 
1.925. Do. 

.530. Do. 

.453. Do. 

.962. Do. 

.570. Do. 

.432. Do. 

.830. Do. 
1.307. Watering-place, branch of Medary Creek. 

.268. Crossing of small creek running southwesterly. 

.669. Camp at "Hole-in-the-Mountain;" good wood, wa- 
ter, and grass. Distance, 23.553 miles ; 100 mounds. 
Sept. 19. 

.202. Descent of the mountain pass. 

.299. Crossing the mountain pass. 

.372. Hills. 

.889. Small creek leading to Lake Benton. 

.326. Marsh to the left. 

.289. Indian village Grizzly. 

.965. Bear's pound. 

.967. Fine growth of oak timber. 
1.220. Lakes on both sides. 

.713. North is Cottonwood Lake. 

.590. Lake, with timber ; three lakes to the right. 

.502. Crossing of Redwood Eiver, and camped on east bank; 
wood, water, and grass in abundance. Distance, 
20.174 miles. 

.465. Marshy lands and lakes. 

.685. Lakes, with timber. 

.309. Lakes near the line, to left. 

.227. Rolling country. 

.494. Do. 

.939. Do. 


.772. Rolling country. 
.315. Do. 

1.498. Creek, head of Cottonwood. 
.487. Do. do. 

.408. Country rolling, and small grassy lakes. 
.551. Do. do. 

1.165. Do. do. 

.614. Do. do. 

.650. Crossing Cottonwood River ; camp at Big Wood of the 
Cottonwood; fine timber, water, and grass. Dis- 
tance, 12.124 miles. September 22. 
15.407. This course crosses three good watering-places and 
Plum Creek, a branch of the Cottonwood ; camp at 
lower crossings of Cottonwood River. Distance, 
18.551 miles. 
. 299. Rolling country, with lakes and marshes. 
.986. Do. do. 

1.823. Do. do. 

2.435. Do. do. 

1.628. Small creek. 
1.587. Crossing of mouth of Cottonwood River; water and 

grass. Distance, 19.446 miles. 
1.178. Intersection of government trail from Eort Randall to 
Fort Ridgeley via Sioux agency. 
.943. Grassy lakes and marshes extending to Redwood 

.260. Top of bluff of Minnesota River ; descent 150 feet. 
.780. Bottom bordering on the Minnesota River, with heavy 
timber; course ends at Fort Ridgeley rope ferry; 
river is 150 feet wide, with good banks. 
.465. To Fort Ridgeley and intersection of government road 
to Fort Snelling via Traverse de Sioux and Shaka- 
Total distance from Fort Ridgeley to Missouri River, 
254.797 miles. 


XXXII. — Road from Camp Floyd^ Utah^ to Los 
Angeles^ California, From Major F. J. Por- 
ter's Itinerary. 


From Camp Floyd, U. T., 

22.2. To Goshen. — Road good, except in very wet weather. 
On Lake Utah, 13 miles, good camps for small parties, 
though shore boggy ; at Webb's, 16 miles, good camp, 
except for grass, which is distant on the lake shore 2 
miles ; no wood ; sage for fuel. Fuel and forage pur- 
chasable at Goshen. 

21.6. To Nephi, via road leading to Summit City (a shorter 
and good road (18 miles), over a mountain spur to Salt 
Creek, is passable for wagons only when the marshes on 
Salt Creek are frozen). — Road excellent. In summer, 
good camps on Salt Creek and at the two mud cor- 
rals (springs). Abundance of water on the march; 
fuel must be taken from the hills about 5 miles from 
Goshen. Fuel and forage can be purchased. 

30.0. To Sevier River. — Good road. Pass Chicken Creek (18 
miles), where are excellent camp-grounds. Some of 
the springs are bad for cattle, and boggy. Fuel and 
grass on the river. 

25.0. To Cedar Spring or Buttermilk Fort. — Road good in 
dry weather. 10 miles from Sevier Rivei', a small 
stream, dry in summer, crosses the road. Roads 
branch off east to water (good camp) 4 miles up the 
stream. Take in fuel a few miles from fort; grass 
and water abundant ; forage purchasable. 

21.0. To Corn Creek. — Pass within 7 miles Pioneer Creek 
and another small stream, generally dry in midsum- 
mer. Fillmore City (10 miles from Buttermilk Fort) : 
fuel and forage jierhaps purchasable ; not a good rest- 
ing-place ; also Meadow Creek, 7 miles beyond, where 
good grass will be found near the willows ; fuel and 
forage purchasable. At Corn Creek settlement good 
grass near willows, and forage purchasable. The In- 
dian farm (Kanosh's band) is located 4 miles east. 
Emigrants should not camp close to the willows here 
and at Meadow Creek, and should have a watchful 
guard over their animals : to the Indians are attributed 
ail losses. Road good, except in wet weather, when 
the meadows between Meadow and Corn Creeks may 



be impassable, in which case the road passes near the 
Indian farm. 

21.00. To Cove Creek. — Road undulating, but good; no wa- 
ter on the route ; good grass, fuel, and water up the 
creek (east) about 2 miles ; grass on hills. 

"27.00. To Beaver City. — Pass Pine Creek, 8 miles, and In- 
dian Creek, 20 miles, both furnishing good camps. 
When Beaver Creek is swollen from melting snows, 
the road passes about 4 miles east of the city, at 
other times through it. Forage can be purchased 
here ; good road. 

20.00. To Elk Horn Springs.— Pass Snow Creek (12 miles), on 
which, when running (dry late in summer), are good 
camps. Good camp, though water may be alkaline 
in summer ; fuel sage ; road good. 

21.50. To Summit (jreek. — Road good. Pass a small creek, 
10 miles; grass and water. Red Fort, 12|- miles. 
Parowan, 17|- miles: tolerable camps only ; better one 
mile beyond, at spring east of road, at base of hill ; 
grass and fuel on hills ; fuel and forage in any quan- 
tity purchasable at Parowan. At Summit Creek, 
grass, water, and sage. 

31.54. To Warm Springs or Little Pynte. — Pass Johnson's 
Settlement (4 or 5 houses) west of road, 4 miles from 
camp; good camp-ground. Cedar City (13.34 miles), 
nearly deserted ; bad camp ; forage, in small quanti- 
ty, probably purchasable, but not to be relied upon. 
At the south end of the field the road forks; the 
southern branch leads to Harmony and Santa Clara, 
the western is the main road, and passes through the 
Mountain Meadows. From Cedar (jity, first 6 or 8 
miles through alkaline plain, a small ravine, contain- 
ing Leech's Spring, left of road (water for a small 
party only), and a small valley with water south of 
road. Road undulating and good. The water at 
the springs is Avarm and not good ; grass and wood 
abundant for as large parties as will travel this route. 

34.00. To Santa Clara.— Pass Big Pynte (6 miles), a small 
stream and settlement of 6 or 8 houses; tolerable 
camp for a small party ; a little forage probably pro- 
curable ; Mountain Meadows (12 miles) ; Hamblin's 
Ranch, left of road (11 miles), one mile beyond which 
is the scene of the massacre of 1857, and a good 



camp-ground. Six miles from this camp take road 
to left, to avoid crossing a lofty hill-road, and turn to 
the right, and descend some 2000 feet to the Santa 
Clara. Pass several small tributaries of Santa Clara. 
Good camp 2 miles below first point of striking river. 
Cross stream 13 times (careful driving), and camp 
below, where road leaves the Santa Clara ; a narrow 
pass for pack animals leading to Hamblin's Fort on 
Santa Clara, Washington, Harmony, etc. The grass 
is usually so abundant at the Mountain Meadows that 
trains generally recruit here several days. All per- 
sons should be on their guard against Indians. Hence 
to Cajon Pass they are impudent and treacherous to 

27.31. To Cottonwood Creek (Beaver Dams). — Pass springs 
(1\ miles). Lower springs good ; also the upper when 
the water is running freely ; at other times the latter 
are alkaline, and injurious to animals. Water at lower 
springs for small party ; grass ; sage for fuel. Road 
to Cottonwood good, occasionally sandy and rocky. 
No grass at Cottonwood except in the thick cane; 
willow and Cottonwood are substitutes for horses and 

30.00. To last crossing of the Virgin. — The ascent from the 
valley of the Cottonwood is very heavy, on account 
of sand, as is the road during the whole distance. 
Road crosses the river 14 times, and skirts it nearly 
all the way : 1st crossing about 6 miles from Cotton- 
wood; 2d, 2 miles beyond; 3d and 4th follow in 
quick succession ; 5th and 6th, about 1 mile beyond ; 
7th, about 8 miles from the 6th; 8th, 2 miles be- 
yond; 9th, 6 miles farther; 10th, 2f, followed with- 
in 2i miles by the 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th. Cross- 
ings good. The 1st, 8th, and 14th crossings furnish 
good camp-grounds for some hundred animals, and 
in many places along the road small parties will find 
sufficient grass. Beyond the last crossing about 1 
mile the road touches the river for the last time, and 
turns off" to ascend to the bench land on which the 
road to the Muddy lies. All trains should reach this 
point and camp one night before attempting to leave 
the valley. Good camps can be made about 1 mile 
down the river. 



18.75. To Muddy. — Ascend for 1 mile a veiy steep and diffi- 
cult hill, too steep for loaded teams. Sometimes the 
Indians on the Virgin collect here to pack on their 
backs, for small compensation (flour, tobacco, old 
clothes, etc.), the loads of wagons. To the hill de- 
scending into the valley (14 miles) of the Muddy the 
road is very stony and rocky ; thence it is of heavy 
sand to within a mile of the Muddy, where the ground 
becomes boggy. Fuel, and grass, and water below, 
where the road touches the river. Good camp. 

51.32. To Vegas (deserted Mormon settlement). — This jour- 
ney is generally made at nights, parties canying wa- 
ter for their animals, and resting a few hours on the 
desert. Up the Muddy about 2 miles (crossing three 
sloughs, which require care, and which it would be 
well to bridge with willows or mesquite), to the cross- 
ing, where the banks furnish a good camp for wood, 
water, and grass. Leaving the river, the road winds 
up a ravine some 6 miles : it is either very heavy with 
sand or gravel, or very stony. Except occasional stony 
parts, and a few miles of sand about the middle of 
the journey, the remainder of the road is very good. 
Good camp-ground adjacent the walls: fuel, grass, 
and water (running) abundant for a large train. If 
requiring rest, this is a good (the only) point to re- 
cruit animals before attempting the desert. 

29.50. To Mountain Springs. — Ascend the Vegas 3 miles. 
Some good camps. Road to Cottonwood Spring (19 
miles) and beyond is sandy, rocky, hilly, and heavy 
for loaded teams ; water abundant, and grass enough 
for a small party. About 2 miles beyond is good 
grazing, and water may sometimes be obtained by 
digging on the left of the road; fuel. No grass at 
Mountain Springs ; sage and greasewood only as sub- 
stitutes ; wood abundant. If the number of animals 
in the train exceed fifty, it will be well to send for- 
ward and build dams to collect the water. The 
spring is immediately on the road. 

43.25. To Kingston's (King's) Springs. — 7 miles from Mount- 
ain Springs the road to Bitter Springs via Resting 
Springs branches to the right. It is more sandy than 
the left-hand road, though shorter, and the distances 
between water are not so great. It is rarely travel- 



ed. To this point, and 3 miles farther, the road Is 
excellent; then alternately stony, rocky, and very 
sandy for 14 miles to the divide, beyond which for 12 
miles it runs along the bed of a dry creek (sandy and 
gravelly), till at a prominent point of a hill on the 
left, when a branch continues for half a mile to a 
small well, sometimes called Cowdry's Hole, a toler- 
able camping-place for small parties. The main road 
turns short to the left, and, passing over a few hills 
(2i miles), strikes King's Springs. No grass to be 
relied upon, and fuel scarce. The cold springs {salt) 
are very injurious to 7nan and beast. The warm 
springs (running water) are wholesome. Animals 
should not be turned loose to drink where they wish. 

41.00. To Bitter Springs. — For 9 miles the road is descending 
and very stony ; at times sandy. It passes over a se- 
ries of mountain spurs, and passes, and sandy val- 
leys. A few miles from the springs is a white clay 
bar, along which the road winds, sending off tracks 
to camps at water-holes (salt). The road is firm and 
good for the last 12 miles. The springs are on both 
sides of the road ; some wholesome, while others are 
very injurious on account of alkali. A pint ofjlour 
stirred into every bucketful of this kind of water coun- 
teracts the injurious effects of the alkali upon animals. 
No grass to be relied upon near the springs, 

31. 12. To Mohave River. — The road branches at Bitter Springs. 

The branch to the right strikes the Mohave (31.12 
miles) 18 miles higher up than the other, and is a 
better road, having less sand. No water on the road. 
Where the other branch strikes the Mohave (14 miles) 
will be found grass, wood, and water, and also at in- 
tervals on the river, in the valley of which the road 
continues for 75 miles. This road is very heavy, and 
offers no inducement to travelers other than that wa- 
ter and grass are abundant to recruit enfeebled ani- 
mals. Distance 32 miles. Water in holes ; wood ; 
grass very good, and abundant for a thousand ani- 

52.13. To last crossing of Mohave. — Ascending the river, good 

camps can be made at suitable intervals by digging 
for water. Conspicuous places are the Fish Pond 
(11^ miles), 2 miles west of Sugarloaf (an isolated 



knob) ; Point of Rocks, 6 miles beyond — at each of 
which will bo found wood and grass, and generally 
water. Above the last the road strikes the river in 
many places, and at all cottonwood groves will be 
found good camp-grounds. When the road rises to 
the bluff, or leaves the main bed of the river, travel- 
ers must expect, before again seeing water or grass, to 
pass over 4 to 10 miles of heavy sand. Tolerable good 
camp-ground near Lane's Ranch, and immediately 
beyond last crossing, near house. Grass in the wil- 
lows. Hay may be purchased, and perhaps grain, 
both of the American and Mormon competitors for 
travelers' custom. 

38.23. To Martin's Ranch. — About 8 miles from Mohave a 
trail for pack-animals takes to the left, and dimin- 
ishes the time of travel a few hours. About 18 miles 
a road turns to the left and descends into the Cajon 
Pass along a difficult, dangerous, and very steep 
ridge (Hog's Back) : loaded wagons should not take 
it ; a few miles only gained. About 4 miles beyond 
where this road turns off, the road to Fort Tajon 
takes to the right. By cai-rying water, travelers can 
give their animals good grazing at several places on 
the road. Summit of Cajon Pass, 23 miles from 
Mohave ; grass in summer ; fuel ; no water ; road 
good. Old house in Kanyon (8.66 miles) ; road 
quite sandy, but all descent (wood, water, and some 
little grass in season, but not to be relied upon). 
Martin's Ranch (7.45 miles) ; road rocky and sandy ; 
descending, crossing the stream several times : good 
camps for small parties may be made on the stream. 
Here and beyond one half mile will be found an ex- 
cellent camp-ground. Water at Martin's Ranch. 

25.53. To Mud Springs (Cinuguilla de San Jose). — First part 
of road rocky; remainder good. At Cocamongo 
(14.08 miles) wood, water, and grass (encamp on 
creek above where first struck). Pass Smith's Ranch 
(8 miles beyond) 2 miles, and take left-hand road to 
camp ; wood, water, and grass. 

28.42. To Los Angeles. — Road good; water and grass on the 
route. To Old Mission, 18.32 miles; wood, water, 
and grass. Hence to Los Angeles, 10.10 miles: 
wood, water, and grass above the town. 


N.B. — The road through Harmony, Washington, ^Sawia Clara, 
and Jacob's Tivist to the California road should never be taken 
by wagons. It is hilly, in places very rocky, sandy, and bog- 
gy. Jacob's Twist is a winding canon, with sides of solid 
rock, and too narrow for wagons. No loaded vehicle should 
enter it. There are no inducements to go this route other than 
to avoid storms at the Mountain Meadows, as little or noth- 
ing can be purchased at the few small miserable troglodyte set- 
tlements through which it passes. It is a good winter route 
for pack animals. 

On account of Indians, travelers should, on the inarch, al- 
ways be armed, and never separated into parties of one or two ; 
always on the alert, and, when in camp, ready at every mo- 
ment to seize and use their arms. 

XXXIII. — Itinerary of the more southern Wag- 
on-route of Captain J. H. Simpson, Topograph- 
ical Engineers^ XI. jS. Army, from Camp Floyd, 
II. T., to Ge7ioa, in Carson Vctlley, through the 
Great Salt lake Basin, explored hy him in 1859, 
under instructio7is from General A. S. Johnston, 
commanding the Department of Utah. 


From Camp Floyd to 
18i. Meadow Creek. — Sage wood, water, grass. 
10. Junction with outward route in Gen. Johnston's Pass. — 
Wood, grass. 
1 1^. Brewer's Spring. — Wood, water, grass. 
h\. Porter's Creek. — Wood, water, grass. 
2t\. Prince's Creek. — Wood, water, grass. 

16. Good Indian Spring. — Water collected in troughs ; wood, 

141. Big Horn Spring. — Water sometimes by digging ; not re- 
3i. Summit of range west of Big Horn Spring. 

17. Tyler's Spring, Creek, and Canon. — Stock driven to creek 

three fourths of a mile northwest of spring ; wood, wa- 
ter, grass, 
15|. Chapin's Spring, Creek, and Canon. — Animals driven to 
creek 1 \ miles above ; wood, water, grass. 


2^. Summit of House Range. 
12i. Rush Pond. — Scarcely any thing more than a watering- 
place ; sage wood, water, rushes. 
20i. Plympton's Springs. — Several within a mile ; sage wood, 

water, grass. 
lOi. Crosman's Creek. — Willow, water, grass. 
4. Rush Spring in Crosman Valley. — Sage wood, water, 
5^. Cross Dry Branch. — ^Water running above ; wood, water. 
21. Forks of Road. —Take right. 

2f . Un-go-pah, or Red Springs. — Several also in vicinity ; wil- 
low, water, grass. 
7^. Summit of Tots-arrhor, high mountain range, generally 

called Goshoot Moiintain. 
2. Turnley's Springs and Caiion. — Wood, water, grass. 
8. Springs in Antelope Valley. — Sage wood, water, grass. 
12i. Water and grass reported half a mile to left of road, in a 
branch canon. 
li. Summit of Un-go-we-ah, or Pine Range. 

2. Grass and water along creek for Si miles from spring. — 

Wood, water, grass. 
3i. Stephenson's Creek and Canon. — ^Wood, water, grass. 
7i. Cross Stephenson's Creek. — Sage wood, water, grass. 
si. Cross Murry's Creek. — Willow and sage wood, water, 

5f . Gate of Hercules, to right of road, i mile. — ^Wood, water, 

8i. Spring Canon. — Several springs within the compass of 

half a mile. Wood, water, grass. 

3. Summit of Mont-tim Range. 

31-. Hurt's Spring and Canon. — Wood, water, grass. 
12. Ute Pete's Spring and Canon. — Wood, water, grass. 
1. Summit of Too-muntzor Black-head Range Spring. — 
Wood, water, grass. 
32^. Bluff Creek (18 miles saved by keeping in a southwest di- 
rection across the valley to the mouth of Neill's Creek, 
as indicated by the pointer in mid- valley. In this case 
this camp not used). — Water sinks sometimes below 
caiion. Sage wood, water, and grass. 
8. Neill's Creek and Canon. — Wood, water, and grass. 
1. Summit of We-a-bah range of mountains. 
If. Grass and water along M'Carthy's Creek for 0^ miles. 



6^. Sink of McCarthy's Creek and Caiion. — Sage wood, wa- 
ter, and grass. 
lOiT. Lee's Springs. — Sage wood, water, and grass. 
5i. Clay Creek. — Water in holes ; grass along creek above 

and below ; sage wood. 
62^. Fountain Springs. — About 2 acres of rush grass ; sage 
wood and water. 

1. Cross outward route. 

2. Twin Springs. — Barr's Springs half a mile north ; grass in 

vicinity sufficient for small parties ; sage wood and wa- 
5. Join outward route. 

li. Wons-in-dam-me, or Antelope Creek. — Wood, water, and 

li- Leave outward route. — Take left hand. 

3. Cross Saw-wid Creek. — ^Water running one mile above 

the road ; grass in canon ; sage wood. 
2^. Cross Dry Creek. — Water running one fourth mile above 

the road ; grass in caiion ; sage wood. 
12i-. Join outward route. 
2j. Leave outward route. — Take left hand. 
3. Water and grass found along Won-a-ho-no-pe Creek from 
spring where road joins outward route. Wood, water, 
and grass. 
5j. Simpson's Park and Lake. — ^Wood, water, and grass. 

5. Summit of Pe-er-re-eb, or high mountain range. 
4:^. Leave outward road. — Take left hand. 
5. Cross Keese's River. — Fuel to be brought; water and 

i. Eeese's Eiver. — Fuel to be brought ; water and grass. 
i. Junction with outward route. 
17. Leave outward route. — Take right hand ; left-hand road 4 
miles shorter, but more rugged over the Se-day-e, or 
Look-out Mountain. Best early in the season for trains 
going west, and always best for cattle-herds ; water 
and grass at intervals of 2i, 10, 3, 3, 3, 7, 8 (total 36^) 
miles to junction with more northern route. 
3^. Kirby Smith's Creek, in Woodruff Valley.— Some grass 
along creek, more at the mouth of canon ; sage wood 
and water. 
3i. Mouth of Kirby Smith's Creek.— Wood, water, and grass. 
3. Road leaves Kirby Smith's Creek.— Wood, water, and 


li. Summit of Pass of Se-day-e, or Look-out Mountain, 
i. Grass and water for 7 miles along Edward Creek ; wood. 
7. Edward Creek. — Willow and sage wood, water and grass. 
Hi. Cold Springs in Dodge Valley. — Sage wood, water, and 
9. Cross small branch and join outward route. — Water some- 
times running, sometimes in holes. 
1|. Middle Gate. — At times running water, at others got by 
digging ; sage wood, water, and grass. 
23i. Leave outward route. — Take left hand ; water by digging, 
not palatable. 
7f . Sulphur Spring. — Little or no grass in the vicinity ; wa- 
ter scant. 
2^. Very small warm spring. — Very little grass in vicinity. 
6i. East shore of Carson Lake. — Fuel should be brought; 

join outward route ; water, rushes. 
4^. Leave Captain Simpson's outward road. — Take right 

71. Leave Carson Lake. — Fuel brought; water, grass. 
23|r. Carson River. — Road keeps in valley of Carson River, 
with slight deviations, for 25 miles. Wood, water, and 
grass can be found at convenient points ; wood, water, 

25. Ford of Carson River, at Pleasant Grove, where route 
joins old Humboldt River road, 18 miles; or ford near 
China Town. — Wood, water, grass. 
h China Town. 
111. Carson City. — Sage wood, water, grass. 
131^. Genoa. — ^Wood, water, grass. 

Total distance, 568 miles ; or, regarding cut-off in Buell 
Valley, 560 miles. 


XXXIV. — Itinerary of the more northern Wagon- 
route of Capt. J. H. Simpson, from Camp Floyd 
to junction with the n^ore southern route to Ge- 
Qioa^ in Carson Valley^ Utah Territory. This is 
the present California Mail a7id Pony Express 


From Camp Floyd to 
18.2. Meadow Creek. — Cedar fuel brought from vicinity of 

Camp Floyd Pass ; wood, water, grass. 
9.9. Spring one eighth of mile to right of Pass. — This spring 
furnishes but little water even in the spring, and in the 
summer would be most probably dry ; water, wood, 
16.2. Simpson's Spring. — Wood on slope of mountain, at rath- 
er inconvenient distance ; greasewood in abundance ; 
water not abundant ; grass. 
43.1. Devil's Hole. — "Water slightly brackish. 
5.4. Fish Springs, Mail Station. — Greasewood fuel; grass in 
tolerable quantity on side of mountain. 

3.4. Warm Springs. — Old mail station ; greasewood, water, 

28.8. Sulphur Springs. — ^Water in abundance, and palatable to 
man and beast ; grass abundant ; willow and sage. 

13.4. Spring in Pleasant Valley. — Wood, water, grass. 

12.5, East side of Antelope Valley. — Short distance up ravine, 

wood, water, grass in abundance. 
19.0. Spring Valley. — Abundance of water and salt grass ; lit- 
tle good grass on east side of valley; an abundance on 
bench and slope of west side of the valley ; grease- 
wood convenient ; cedar on slopes of hills. 

3.5. Crossing of marsh in Spring Valley. — Here road takes 

up a fine mountain stream ; grass and wood all along 

creek ; fine from one mile above Spring Valley. 
3.5 Road leaves creek. — Wood, water, grass. 
2.8. Spring in ravine, from which issues a copious stream. — 

Fine grass in this ravine ; wood. 
1.3. Mail Station on east slope of Steptoe Valley.— Fine grass 

in vicinity ; wood, water. 
6.5. Steptoe Creek. — Dry in summer; greasewood and grass. 
6.8. Mouth of Egan Canon. — Fine stream comes down; fine 

grass on the side hills; wood and water. 


1.9. Spring, source of Egan Creek. — About half a mile below 
summit of divide between StejDtoc Valley and Eound 
Prairie. Wood, water, and grass. 

16.2. West side of Butte Valley. — A very small dug well high 
up the hill, barely sufficient for cooking purposes, not 
sufficient for the animals of a command; grass 1^ 
miles northeast from mail station, up a side hill. 
This station since changed to water, it is said, in vicin- 
ity ; wood and grass. 

12.0. One mile below summit, west side, in ravine, descending 
to Ruby Valley, plenty of grass. — Spring can be made 
available for large command ; wood. 

9.2. Ruby Valley. — Cedars and grass on west side of valley 

three miles off; greasewood fuel ; fine spring. 

14.4. Huntingdon's Creek, south fork of Humboldt. — Rapid 

stream, six feet wide, half foot deep. 

3.3. Small mountain stream, west side of valley of south fork 

of Humboldt or Huntingdon's Creek. — Fine grass to- 
ward the mountain, and greasewood. 

1.2. Spring right of road. — Sage wood and grass. 

5.8. Near west foot of Cho-kup's Pass. — Splendid and abun- 
dant grass, sage wood, and water. 

7.8. Spring in mid Pah-hun-nupe Valley. — Sage wood, wa- 
ter, and grass. 

5.6. Spring west side of Pah-hun-nupe Valley. — Water slight- 
ly sulphurous, but not unpalatable; marsh grass, some 
of bunch kind, not abundant, in canon northwest of 
camp ; greasewood. 
14.9. She-o-wi-teor Willow Creek, in Kobah Valley. — Rapid, 
four feet wide, one foot deep ; has some willows upon it. 
Sage fuel; cedar in the mountains (some ten miles 
saved by taking a southwest direction from this camp 
to water and grass at base of mountain range, some 
twenty-two miles off) ; sage wood. 

16.5. Junction with Capt. Simpson's outward route, which is 

practicable for wagons. 
2.0. Twin Springs. — Barr's Springs half mile north ; grass in 
vicinity sufficient for small parties ; sage wood, water. 
From this point follow Capt. Simpson's more south- 
ern route, according to Itinerary No. XXXIII., which 
will make the total distance by this route, from Camp 
Floyd to Genoa, 583i miles ; and if the Southern Pass, 
throixgh the Se-day-e or Look-out Mountain is taken, 
the total distance will be 529.} miles. 



A. Portable Boat. 

A BOAT has been invented by Colonel E. C, Buchanan, of 
the army, which has been used in several expeditions in Ore- 
gon and in Washington Territory, and has been highly com- 
mended by several experienced officers who have had the op- 
portunity of giving its merits a practical service test. 

It consists of an exceedingly light framework of thin and 
narrow boards, in lengths suitable for packing, connected by 
hinges, the different sections folding into so small a compass as 
to be conveniently carried upon mules. The frame is covered 
with a sheet of stout cotton canvas, or duck, secured to the 
gunwales with a cord running diagonally back and forth 
through eyelet-holes in the upper edge. 

When first placed in the water the boat leaks a little, but 
the canvas soon swells so as to make it sufficiently tight for all 
practical purposes. The great advantage to be derived from 
the use of this boat is, that it is so compact and portable as to 
be admirably adapted to the requirements of campaigning in a 
country where the streams are liable to rise above a fording 
stage, and where the allowance of transportation is small. 

It may be put together or taken apart and packed in a very 
few minutes, and one mule suffices to transport a boat, with all 
its appurtenances, capable of sustaining ten men. 

Should the canvas become torn, it is easily repaired by put- 
ting on a patch, and it does not rot or crack like India-rubber 
or gutta-percha ; moreover, it is not affected by changes of cli- 
mate or temperature. 


B. Winter Traveling. 

In traveling through deep snow, horses will be found much 
better than mules, as the latter soon become discouraged, lie 
down, and refuse to put forth the least exertion, while the for- 
mer will work as long as their strength holds out. 

When the snow is dry, and not deeper than 2i feet, horses 
in good condition will walk through it without much difficulty, 
and throw aside the snow so as to open quite a track. If there 
are several horses they should be changed frequently, as the 
labor upon the leading one is veiy severe. When the snow is 
deeper than 2^ feet, it becomes very difficult for animals to 
wade through it, and they soon weary and give out. The best 
plan, under such circumstances (and it is the one I adopted in 
crossing the Kocky Mountains, where the snow was from two 
to five feet upon the ground), is to place all the disposable men 
in advance of the animals to break the track, requiring them to 
alternate from front to rear at regular intervals of time. In 
this manner a track is beaten over which animals pass with 
comparative ease. 

"VYlien the snow increases to about four feet, it is impossible 
for the leading men to walk erect through it, and two or three 
of them are compelled to crawl upon their hands and knees, all 
being careful to place their hands and feet in the same holes 
that have been made by those in advance. This packs the 
snow so that it will sustain the others walking erect, and after 
20 or 30 have passed it becomes sufficiently firm to bear up the 
animals. This, of course, is an exceedingly laborious and slow 
process, but it is the only alternative when a party finds itself 
in the midst of very deep snows in a wilderness. Animals, in 
walking over such a track as has been mentioned, will soon 
acquire the habit of placing their feet in the holes that have 
been made by the men ; and, indeed, if they lose the step or 
miss the holes, they will fall down or sink to their bellies. 

Early in the winter, when the snow first falls in the Kocky 


Mountains, it is so light and dry that snow-shoes can not be 
used to advantage. "We tried the experiment when we crossed 
the mountains in December and January, but found it impos- 
sible to walk upon them. 

Should a party, in a country where the snow is deep, have 
the misfortune to lose its animals by freezing, the journey can 
not be continued for any great length of time without devising 
some method of transporting subsistence besides that of carry- 
ing it upon the backs of the men, as they are unable to break a 
track through deep snow when loaded down in this way. 

The following plan has suggested itself to me as being the 
most feasible, and it is the one I resolved to adopt in the event 
of losing our mules faster than we required them for subsistence 
when we passed the Mountains. 

Take willow, or other flexible rods, and make long sleds, less 
in width than the track, securing the cross-pieces with raw- 
hide thongs. Skin the animals, and cut the hides into pieces 
to fit the bottom of the sleds, and make them fast, with the hair 
on the upper side. Attach a raw-hide thong to the front for 
drawing it, and it is complete. In a very cold climate the hide 
soon freezes, becomes very solid, and slips easily over the snow. 
The meat and other articles to be transported are then placed 
upon the sled so as not to project over the sides, and lashed 
firmly. Lieutenant Cresswell, who was detached from Captain 
M'Clure's ship in the Arctic regions in 1853, says his men 
dragged 200 pounds each upon sledges over the ice. They 
could not, of course, pull as much over deep snow, but it is be- 
lieved that they would have no difiiculty in transporting half 
this amount, which would be sufficient to keep them from 
starvation at least fifty days. 

I am quite confident that a party of men who find them- 
selves involved in deep snows, dependent solely upon their own 
physical powers, and without beasts of burden, can prolong their 
lives for a greater time, travel farther, and perform more labor 
by adopting the foregoing suggestions than in any other way. 


C. Indian Signals. 

When Indians are pursued by a large force, and do not in- 
tend to make resistance, they generally scatter as much as pos- 
sible, in order to perplex and throw off those who follow their 
trail, but they have an understanding where they are to rendez- 
vous in advance. Sometimes, however, circumstances may 
arise during a rapid flight making it necessary for them to 
alter these plans, and turn their course in another direction. 
When this happens, they are in the habit of leaving behind 
them some well-understood signals to indicate to their friends 
in the rear the change in their movements. 

For instance, they will sometimes leave a stick or other object 
to attract attention, and under this bury an arrow pointing in 
the new direction they intend to take. They will then con- 
tinue on for a time in the course they have been pursuing, until 
they get upon hard ground, where it is difficult to see their 
tracks, then gradually turn their course in the new direction. 

D. India-ruhher Cloak. 

An India-rubber cloak has been introduced, and can be pur- 
chased in London, which strikes me as being one of the most 
useful and convenient articles of camp equipage for a single 
horseman or a small party going out into the prairies with a 
limited allowance of transportation. 

It consists of a sheet of India-rubber or gutta-percha cloth, 
made into the form of a large cloak, in the centre of which is 
an elliptical cylinder about eight inches in diameter, of the same 
material, wrought into the fabric. When this cylinder is col- 
lapsed the garment may be worn as a cloak, and aftbrds ample 
protection to the rider and his horse against storms. It may 
also be used in bivouac by stretching it out upon poles so as to 
make a good shelter for one or two men ; but its greatest ad- 
vantage consists in the fact that, when the cylinder is inflated, 



and the sides of the cloak dra^vn up around, it will be found to 
answer the purpose of a small boat, with sufficient buoyancy 
and capacity to sustain and float with perfect safety the largest 
man. The curvature of the cylinder is such that it serves as a 
double keel, making the boat remarkably stanch when in the 
water. The one I have seen was paddled three miles across a 
lake with a man weighing 250 pounds upon it. It is an excel- 
lent article for duck-hunting or fishing in the absence of other 
boats, and, finally, it may be used as a bed, as when the cylin- 
der is inflated it is very elastic and comfortable for this purpose. 
When rolled up for transportation it occupies but a small com- 
pass, and may be conveniently strapped behind a riding-saddle. 





i. j\j 


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